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Reiko Nogami – A Breast Cancer Warrior

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Reiko Nogami - Hair Stylist

Breast Cancer Survivor

My name is Reiko Nogami. I was born and raised in Japan. I’m now 35 years old, and a hairstylist in San Francisco.

Last year, I felt something on my chest, and instantly I knew it was serious. So, before I was officially diagnosed, I researched what breast cancer is. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer with no family history. Of course I was shocked to hear the diagnosis, but I prepared for the worst, and I was ready to face the treatment.

I wanted to be involved in the Underwater Healing Project for one big reason. I wanted to show all the survivors and warriors that we are still beautiful and still strong. We don’t have to give up anything because we are not alone.

I didn’t expect the underwater session to be so difficult! It was hard to hold my breath and to move in the water! But, I could concentrate during the session because being under water was peaceful. The water blocks all the noises 🙂

In the water, Erena didn’t look like a photographer. She was camouflaged by the water so I didn’t feel any pressure at all. She made me feel comfortable.

After the photo shoot, I felt so sad to go back to reality! I wished I was in the water longer!

During my treatment, I visited Okinawa and Guam. When I submerged in the ocean, my physical pain and swollen body healed! I always, ALWAYS believe that water is the key for our lives. The Human body is made by over 70% of fluid, so to me, underwater means back to a mothers belly: rebirth.

In the U.S., people are more open to be in public during chemotherapy with or without turbans, but it’s not like that in Asia. My dream is to open a wig hair salon in Japan, a space for patients to feel comfortable about themselves.

I recommend this underwater healing session to everyone. In the water, no one judges you. No noises. No gravity. You don’t know what time it is. You can release all the stress, you can heal if you have minor pain and you feel FREE!

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