Thursday, 16 June 2016


Today is a big day. Today is one year from the day that Riarna was told that she had cervical cancer. 

She was 27 at the time and life was seemingly perfect. She and her husband were running their own business. They had a beautiful little boy Hunter and they were planning on adding to their family in the next year. 

Three days after she found out she had stage 3 cancer she was told that her best chance of survival was to have her fallopian tubes removed and ovaries lifted out of the way to clear the path for radiation. The surgery meant Riarna could not have any more biological kids.

When I first read Riarna's story I was a shaken. Our lives were basically identical! Fit and healthy young mums (our boys are only a month apart in age) with everything ahead of us. What scared me the most was how Riarna described her symptoms... discharge, lower back and abdominal pain, tired all the time... is this not just every woman? It was too close to home for me and I booked in with my gyno the next week for a pap smear to make sure my symptoms were just from being a busy mum. Luckily for me everything came back clear but I couldn't stop thinking about how many of us would not be so lucky. I have one girlfriend who has never had a pap smear. She is too scared it will hurt. I understand where she is coming from, they are no facial treatment, but would you rather hear the words 'you have cancer?'

And all this is why I fell so in love with Riarna. When I met her she was this super bubbly, smiling little ray of sunshine and I was thinking 'why isn't she angry, why isn't she feeling sorry for herself?' Riarna doesn't view her cancer as something that abruptly interrupted her life. She views it as an opportunity to educate other women and make sure we all know that it can happen to ANYONE. She is using her experience to speak up and make sure we all get our regular pap smears and lead healthy lives. She now dedicates her time to spreading the word... and passing on recipes for delicious and organic baked goods, free from all the chemical bullshit that is in so much of what we eat these days.

When you look at these photos I hope that you feel emotion, I hope that you feel something towards Riarna and in turn think of yourself and your own family, I hope that you start thinking about your body and make a note to book in with your GP for a pap smear, I hope that this changes your perception of 'beauty'. But mostly, I want you to all take a note from Riarna's book and know that no matter what, this life is worth putting up one hell of a fight for.

A note from Riarna about the shoot:

"This is me. A mother, a wife, a cancer survivor. I do not hide, my story has always been shared, now to show the physical side. The marks, the scars, a timely reminder that I have fought and I have risen above.
Life can be tough, but it's important to always love who you are. Be comfortable with your body, embrace yourself. Scars, stretchmarks etc, they all hold significance to the journey life has taken you on, they define you."

For more details on Riarna's cancer journey click HERE

And for all those yummy recipes check out her website Nourish, Nurture, Live HERE


Photographer: Danielle Symes
Model: Riarna Springbett
H&MU: Amanda Grace Nash
Location: The Muecke Palette (South Australia)


  1. Amazing photos...... so empowering. Riarna is an amazing women

    1. Thank you so much. She has inspired me more than anyone I have ever met. Im so proud of her.