“Cancer doesn’t stop me being a princess.” That’s the message of 17-year-old Andrea Sierra Salazar, and looking at these photographs, we couldn’t agree more.
Andrea, who lives in Texas, lost her hair due to chemotherapy after being diagnosed with stage 2 nodular sclerosis Hodgkin lymphoma. The treatment left the usually-confident teen feeling self-conscious, but when her mother shared her daughter’s story with various modeling agencies, one photographer helped Andrea to rediscover her true beauty. While taking snaps for a photoshoot, Gerardo Garmendia captured the teen in the pictures you can see below, and after sharing one on Twitter, it’s since been liked more than 200k times.
“This journey has taught me to love and accept myself regardless of the way I look,” wrote Andrea on Facebook. “The hair on someone’s head doesn’t define who they are. All girls are princesses, and today I feel beautiful inside and out.”
“There were no side effects,” Andrea said.
“I wouldn’t have known [I had cancer] until one day I felt like I slept wrong, and my neck hurt”