In honor of Women’s History Month we’re celebrating the fighters, the earth shakers, and all the women who refused to give up despite the odds.

Maya Darasaw launched a photo campaign,#31ShadesOfPink, highlighting the stories of survivors and their families. Although Darasaw had never personally been affected by the illness, she felt compelled to use her talents as a photographer to raise awareness and celebrate those who have kicked cancer’s a**! Naturally, she picked a boxing ring as her backdrop. Darasaw explained, “When you step into the ring, you need to be ready to fight…. You discover your strength spiritually, emotionally, and even physically. And your life is always worth fighting for!”

The day of the photo shoot the photographer felt an abnormal lump on her own breast that needed to be biopsied. Her efforts to raise awareness and concern forced her to examine her own health. Darasaw’s biopsy revealed the lump was benign and she is cancer free. Unfortunately many aren’t as lucky, over 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in America alone. As Darasaw’s photos show, breast cancer blindly touches anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity and even age and gender. Every one of these stories are different but what they share is that each person put on their gloves, stepped into the ring, looked breast cancer in the eyes, and fought! Read their stories below and see all the photos from Maya Darasaw’s #31ShadesOfPink here

 Donate or join one of these charities in curing breast cancer! Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, National Breast Cancer Coalition, The Pink Fund & The Susan G. Komen Foundation.

For more information on early detection and breast cancer screening click here.

All photos by Maya Darasaw.