Valerie Franklin lost her cousin to breast cancer in 2008. A year later, she lost her aunt to the disease.
To honor her family members, the Highlands Ranch resident started Stamped With Love, a group of photographers and makeup artists who …
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Valerie Franklin, executive director and photographer of Stamped With Love, usually hosts about 15 to 20 photo shoots per year. Services last up to two hours and include professional makeup and hairstyling and a photo shoot with three to five wardrobe changes. Guests leave with a personal collage of up to 10 photos and a CD with 75-100 photos. She accepts referrals from those who know someone with breast cancer or a breast cancer survivor.
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Valerie Franklin lost her cousin to breast cancer in 2008. A year later, she lost her aunt to the disease.To honor her family members, the Highlands Ranch resident started Stamped With Love, a group of photographers and makeup artists who provide their services for free to those battling breast cancer and breast cancer survivors.“It’s our celebration day — that’s what we call it,” Franklin said. “It’s an opportunity for them to forget about everything they are going through.”Franklin, a Realtor and former wedding photographer, hosts the special event in her basement, where she has a photography studio. She invites three to four women at a time so they can share their experiences while getting pampered for a photo shoot.“Not only is it makeup and hair,” she said, “it’s something that these women can take with them to remember that day.”Her goal, her website says, is to make women affected by breast cancer feel beautiful again.Stephanie Foster, a five-year survivor, had a photo shoot about a year ago with three other women, who are also longtime friends of hers. They went to Franklin’s house, had breakfast, drank champagne and talked. Foster, who has straight hair, had her hair curled and her makeup done.“It was a way to get our mind off the things we had been through,” said Foster, a Highlands Ranch resident. “It’s a time when you don’t have to worry about breast cancer.”A Highlands Ranch workout studio is raising money so more people, like Foster, can have a carefree day of pampering.April Norris owns the women’s fitness studio called Xtend Barre. Every October — National Breast Cancer Awareness Month — she holds a fundraising event called Plié for Pink. Plié is a ballet movement, which is fitting for the ballet- and Pilates-based studio.Each year, funds from Plié for Pink go to a person or organization touched by the disease. Last year, Norris raised about $400 for a Highlands Ranch woman whose mother needed a double mastectomy, a procedure in which a doctor removes both breasts to remove as much of the cancer as possible.When she was choosing a person or organization to donate to this year, Norris thought of Franklin. The two have been friends for a couple of years. Norris will donate all funds from her Oct. 15 Plié for Pink event to Stamped With Love.“We want to be able to touch a personal life,” said Norris, who lost her aunt to breast cancer.Plié for Pink will be at 9:45 a.m. Oct. 15 at the Xtend Barre studio, 3620 E. Highlands Ranch Parkway. Norris asks that guests register before the class at www.xtendbarre.com/studio/highlands-ranch or by phone at 303-791-2100. The cost is $20 per person. Norris will be accepting donations, from members and nonmembers, through the month of October. She also encourages guests to sport the color pink to the class.Her studio, she said, is a positive environment for women.“This is a place of friendship, challenge and change,” Norris said. “We challenge people to do things they don’t normally do — physically and in the community.”
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