Ashley Kostiuk was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2016, after discovering a lump while nursing her baby boy. Since the cancer was aggressive, the mom-of-two would need to start chemo right away, which meant prematurely weaning her son. Simply heartbreaking!
So the morning prior to starting treatment, Ashley's close friend and photographer Jaclyn Briggs decided to grab her camera and join Ashley while the brave mama rocked her sweet son in a chair and breastfed him for the very last time. The resulting images are both powerful and beautifully bittersweet.
"She started to feed him and as he began reaching for her face and pulling away to smile at her, the tears started to roll," Briggs explained to Popsugar. "As mothers, these are the moments we live for. These were the moments she was having to say good-bye to."
What an incredibly selfless mama!
It's almost a year later now, and Ashley has finished chemo and had a double mastectomy. But her journey is far from over. She still needs a number of surgeries, plus six weeks of radiation, five days a week, at least two hours away, according to the GoFundMe account set up by her aunt to help with expenses.
"Even with the toll that breast cancer has had on her time away from her two beautiful babies, her little family is stronger than ever!" her aunt wrote. "Having the financial burden lifted would be one thing she doesn't have to worry about and can spend time with her husband and babies."
Sending huge hugs and prayers to the entire Kostiuk family. If you want to follow Ashley's progress, be sure to check out the Team Ashley Facebook page.