Sophia Bamiatzis & Janice Zeuch

The Story
Sophia Bamiatzis
Sophia Bamiatzis
Chicago, IL
Social Media: @sophiestication312
Breast cancer survivor - Stage 3 Triple Negative
Twist on Cancer: In February of 2017 I was diagnosed with stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer. My aggressive treatment plan consisted of 16 rounds of chemotherapy, two body altering surgeries, 30 rounds of radiation, oral chemotherapy and concluded with a year long immunotherapy chemotherapy trial. Although there is no cure today, I remain hopeful that the brilliant minds dedicated to curing breast cancer (and all cancers) can make good use of the data from my treatment and clinical trial. I don't know why I get to celebrate over 3 years in remission when so many others never made it to this point. So I do my best to live every single day with immense gratitude, sincere love, conviction in my actions and kindness in my heart. Cheers to the gift of life for all of us who are lucky enough to be alive to live it. VIVA!
Janice Zeusch
Janice Zeuch
Acrylic Paint
48 x 24 x 1.5 inches
Artist Statement: Sophia is young, vibrant and chooses to live life in full color. Her life motto is VIVA, Spanish for live.

Sophia is youthful, beautiful, hardworking, and self-supporting. Her diagnosis of cancer came soon after reeling from the loss of her mother, whom she had shared a close relationship with. She continued her daily routine, while enduring many cancer treatments with her self-appointed motto VIVA, her father and friends close by her side.

I was inspired and thinking of Sophia while out shopping one day. I found myself in a store aisle reading trendy plaques of word art, specifically the LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE motto, which was scripted on whitewashed wood. My mind went immediately to Sophia, how would she respond to this aisle of simple life instructions? My response came in this painting, titled VIVA.

This art represents life, full of color, yet darkened and dulled by a cancer diagnosis. The things that bring joy to life might seem inverted and turned upside down, especially the live, laugh, love we all take for granted. For a person confronted by a cancer diagnosis, life/viva in general may even seem difficult to imagine. For Sophia VIVA was always there, difficult at times to see, not always in focus but always within sight. VIVA!

Artists note: Speaking as a mother and not an artist, your mother would be proud of how you have endured these past years, so yes VIVA Sophia, VIVA!