Laura Branson CAN.
Some spoken words change you forever. In 2017 I competed in a full Ironman competition. A 4km swim, 180km bike and a 42 km run. Crossing the finish line and hearing Laura Branson you are an Ironman installed within me the belief that I CAN. Laura Branson, you are an Ironman.
A little over a year after the Ironman I sat in my doctor’s office following a mammogram and biopsy. I had found a lump a week prior. Cancer. The words “Laura Branson you have breast cancer” moved me into an entirely new season of my life and would change me forever. Laura Branson, you have cancer.
I am the mother of two young girls and my time with them was not done. Using my athletic training mindset, I had a mastectomy, 8 rounds of the harshest chemo for a breast cancer patient and 25 rounds of radiation.
Nearing the end of radiation, my husband of 11 years told me we were divorcing. Then I prayed hard and found strength through faith.
I fought for everything legally owed to me, sheltered my girls, bought a house, kept my business running. I started partnering with a not-for-profit group entitled SheStrong, an all-cancer, all-female athletic community; aimed to inspire and support women with cancer through sport. www.shesstronginc.com
After cancer, sometimes people will ask themselves who am I? But after cancer and a divorce, I found my strength. My words were, “Here I am.”
I am currently training with the SheStrong triathlon team for my second full Ironman. Ironman Alaska. My second 4km swim, 180km bike and a 42 km run. It is my second chance at life. I will be competing alongside my partner Nick, who lost his wife of 25 years to cancer. You can read about his story in the men’s edition of Pursuit 365 on December 2nd! He has the integrity and strength of character to fall in love with a woman who has one breast and the possibility of relapse.
I have had a 20-year career as a prop stylist in the photography and production industry. My portfolio includes many Canadian magazine publications such as Chatelaine & Today’s Parent. I have also worked on a diverse collection of print and commercial campaigns for clients such as Kraft, LCBO, Freshii, Canadian Tire and most major Canadian grocery chains. My work can be viewed at www.laurabranson.com
Since my rebirth as a single mom, I have needed a supportive voice on my creative journey. And so, I have signed on as production designer and prop stylist with The Co-Lab, https://www.theco-lab.ca. A full-scale female-led production company featuring photographers, directors and the art department.
Furthering a passion to create and design has birthed a boutique interior design agency. Branson-NobleDesignGroup.com and on Instagram @ BransonNobleDesignGroupInc with a fellow designer and colleague. Since our inception in the past year, we have completed several kitchen builds, basement renos and a complete design build summer home. My design philosophy is; follow your intuition, not rules, merge materials and create a personality within a space.
This is me, Laura Branson the Christian, mother, creator, designer and triathlete. Cancer and divorce spoke the words into Laura Branson “you are strong.”
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