Courageous, Intuitive, Generous
These are the three words used to most accurately describe Mary Bacon, Winner of the Ivory House Empowerment Portrait.
When I called Angela Ames to tell her that her mom had won the Empowerment Session, she instantly burst into tears. This was the moment I knew I had made the right choice. There were SO many amazing nominees. Reading through the stories of these amazing women gave me chills. I hope throughout my career, I have the honor to impact each and every one of these women the way they have impacted people around them.
But there can only be one winner and this year I am so pleased to introduce Mary Bacon. Mary is a mother of 3 beautiful daughters, Karen, Rebecca and Angela and wife to Richard Bacon, career UPS driver and strong advocate for the beautiful women in his life.
Mary is a survivor. She beat stage IV breast cancer and is in the process of beating colon cancer. On top of her other cancer diagnosis, Mary has a rare form of Leukemia that fights against her healthy blood cells, making recovery even more difficult. Her health battles have left her partially blind and hard of hearing and she and Richard travel to from Pleasant Hill to Des Moines 4 times a week for dialysis. Throughout all this, Mary effortlessly maintains a positive attitude. She spends her days making blankets for the needy, always staying busy and helping those less fortunate.
Here is what Angela, Mary's youngest daughter and nominator had to say about her mom:
"My mom is a true definition of warrior, humanitarian and above all else, an amazing mother. She never gives up. She sees ten paths out of a dead end. Her three girls mean everything to her. NOTHING - not even being told that she has a few short months to live - keeps her from encouraging her girls to follow their happiness."
"Growing up my parents would always tell us how fortunate we were, and that we had so much to share with others. I don't remember being "rich" (we certainly were not) but my parents often cleaned out our pantry and fridge to take food to the hungry. My mom would deliver our old clothes to people she felt could use a hand up. My parents do not have a lot but they always taught us that we have plenty. To this day, my sisters and I dig deeper for those who can use a hand up because we grew up with such strong role models of generosity. "
Mary got the full treatment at Ivory House Photography. Christina Davis from Outside In Consulting took Mary shopping, ensuring she felt confident in the clothes she was wearing. Christina described Mary as kind, positive, optimistic, hopeful with a beautiful sweet spirit. Her GLAM TEAM couldn't agree more.
Ivy Boyd was in charge of Mary's makeup application. Mary has amazing skin and gorgeous blue eyes, so accentuating her beautiful features was easy. Stacy Syoka took point on hair and we were all smitten with Mary's natural dark chocolate color and gorgeous gray streak. By the time Mary was in my hands, she had already been taken care of by so many amazing professionals, and my job was EASY.
In the short time since the photoshoot, Angela says that her parents have a renewed sense of confidence. They are going out more, doing new things in the world and exploring more options. Illness can create a real barrier, one where we protect ourself and because of that, stop doing things we once enjoyed. This small photoshoot, while not life changing was proof that both Mary and Richard can do the things they used to enjoy.
To Mary: I hope this experience made you feel truly beautiful, the way your husband and girls see you everyday. Your gentle, kind spirit shined through in every moment of the process and your GLAM TEAM loved working with you! Thank you for giving us your time and for giving so much back to the world around you. You are the true embodiment of perseverance and kindness.