Desiree Anzalone

Desiree Anzalone



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I am a freelance portrait, fashion and beauty photographer based in Milford, CT. Human beings inspire me and find beauty in people’s open state as well as a studio/nature-based setting. I have a vintage aesthetic that plays with vibrant colours and pastel hues. I like to capture my models in a state of ease and confidence while also showing a hint of seduction.

Your Story

I could write a book about my life struggles. My friends tell me I’m the most influential person they’ve ever met. From my abandonment as a child to my self-destructive youth...I’ve been through many undertakings, but the most significant happened on my 25th birthday. I have diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer after finding a lump in the shower. I went through chemotherapy, lost all my long hair and feared death every passing day, but I wore my shaved head with pride because I knew positivity was what would save my life. And it did. I had a double mastectomy and was told by my team of doctors I’d live a long life. I survived cancer; I could do I thought. After treatment ended my boyfriend of 4 years left me. I was devastated, bald, confused and thought I was going to die from a broken heart so, after two years of remission, I left Texas and moved to Connecticut to be closer to family and get as far away from him and everything that reminded me of what I went through. Shortly after I settled in CT, I developed a cough that lasted for seven months. After numerous X-rays, visits to my doctor, hospitals, I was left with no answers except “maybe allergies, maybe bronchitis” and yet I still suffered unimaginable pain. One day I woke up and couldn't walk to the bathroom without running out of breath, so I decided to go to a different hospital which finally found out what was wrong. As I laid there alone, they told me my cancer had metastasised, spread all over my lungs, bones and a bit in my liver. At 27 years old I had stage 4 cancer. I was angry with God, the doctors that continuously misdiagnosed me, but mostly myself. This wasn’t supposed to happen again. What did I do to deserve this AGAIN? My lungs were filled with cancerous fluid, and I was on an oxygen machine 24/7 for a year and a half. My doctors told me I might not ever be able to breathe on my own again. Well, I’m 29 years old now, and I’ve beaten all the odds. I haven’t used an oxygen machine in 8 months, and my doctors are dumbfounded. The third treatment we tried was a charm, and I’ve been healthy ever since, but it’s not just the medicine that is healing me. It’s my resilience, my strength and belief that the mind can heal the body. Statistics say I have five years to live, but I laugh at their numbers. I’m not ready to leave this world so I won’t leave until I've left my imprint, my message, and my art for all to see. Like Shakespeare said, “Life is short, art is long”....I’ll live on.

Photo Credits:

Models: Savannah Wilkinson, Amy Godsey, Katherine Williams and Veronica Grace

Photographer: Myself