Melissa Culbreth, 42, Wilmington, North Carolina,
was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. Despite three recurrences, she is currently cancer free. Retired from her career as a chaplain in the N.C. Army National Guard, she was photographed with her dog Lea on Beaverdam, Falls Lake in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
“I have a fairly strong independent streak, it was issued with the red hair. And just having to come to the point where I could say, ‘I need help.’ You have to have a support system and lean into it.”