As a true leader and spiritual inspiration to other women with metastatic breast cancer, Dikla Benzeevi believes that despite the physical and mental challenges associated with her journey, the people she has met and challenges she has overcome have provided her with the gifts of sisterhood and self-assurance. “I think it has allowed me to be more open to people, both other women with cancer and just people in general. It has helped me create bonds of sisterhood and open up more, to flourish. I’ve met amazing people from all walks of life and fields of work, from different countries and cities that I would never have met prior to cancer.”
Dikla discovered The Foundation for Living Beauty in 2013 through two friends who told her about it and raved about their experiences. Her first Summer Sisterhood celebration in 2013 was a pool party and nutrition lecture. “Everyone was themselves and so accepting,” says Dikla. “You could be yourself and not worry about how you were perceived. As I got to know the Foundation for Living Beauty better, I attended retreats and even a Beyonce concert. Even the names of the events are warm and comforting. They symbolize how one feels with the women there. It’s a safe haven to feel good in your own body, space and environment.”
For Dikla, The Gift project was an opportunity to overcome insecurities and be in a vulnerable but safe place at the same time. “It is a scary thing to reveal yourself in all your natural glory to the public. But by doing so, I overcame fear and insecurity. The photographer, Cynthia, was so wonderful and created a very comfortable environment in which we took the photos. I just felt at peace. It’s not something I would normally do, but it was nice to try something different.”
In true Living Beauty fashion, Dikla blew us away with her interpretation of the term scar. By displaying her own scars in our photography project, Dikla says, “I hope we provide an empowering framework by which women will find courage, freedom and acceptance of themselves as they are and without judgement and fear. We want to share messages of hope by bearing our souls and selves. Not to mention, SCAR could be an acronym for ‘Shooting Courage And Resilience’.”
If anyone radiates both courage and resilience, it’s certainly Dikla. Purchase tickets to The Gift now to see the intimate photos Cynthia Perez has captured of our Living Beauties embracing their scars and enjoying their newfound gifts.