Breast Cancer Survivor's Footprints
An Artistic Journey
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Our Journey, My Story
My name is Aribel Del Carmen Leon Parris.  I am a breast cancer survivor.

It was during a visit to the doctor's office when I became personally acquainted with breast cancer. I will not deny the diagnosis at the time felt like a death sentence. I was engulfed under a wave of so many emotions and found myself at a loss for words. I was completely clueless about breast cancer and was desperate for answers.  I did not know anyone who had undergone the experience.  I was in a daze.  It was like a bad dream. 

I had many late night vigils, but I did not have the courage to call anyone at three o'clock in the morning to voice my fears.  I was unable to put into words all the emotions that were welling up from within.  My heart ached.  Day in and day out, I would mentally pose the question to God, wondering if I was going to die. I was in my apartment with my thoughts feeling very much alone.  I would find myself consistently awakened during the early hours of the morning communing with God, though it felt like He was miles away.  But then I finally understood He was there, all the while.  Jehovah Shammah means "The Lord is There" in Hebrew.  I will never forget the sweetness of those early morning encounters.  Later I felt inspired to pick up a paintbrush, never having a sense of direction regarding the outcome.

I started painting around the time I discovered an inflammation on my left breast.  I continued to paint throughout my treatments.  I never imagined that they would attract an audience or that my breast cancer journey would unfold in such an unexpected manner.  It was my physician who encouraged me to showcase the artwork.  I was very reluctant to come forward.  The last thing I wanted was to be thrust before an audience.  I could not see how the paintings warranted a reception and I did not have any formal training in art.  The artwork unfolded during such a dark period in my life while I was battling depression and the obvious possibility of my life coming to an end.

While undergoing my treatments, I met "Gail" and "Patty" who were at different stages in their breast cancer journey.  We were rooting for each others' recovery.  Our last words were words of encouragement.  Soon after, I received the agonizing news of their passing within a short period.  It was heartbreaking.  I pay tribute to their memory and how our individual experiences do not detract from our journey.

Each season has added to the development of this artistic journey, coming together piece by piece like a jigsaw puzzle.  It has continued to thrive despite numerous challenges and setbacks to recount.  During those moments when it appeared nothing was happening, as if I was rolling at a snail's pace in serious need of roller blades, I never lost hope.  The artwork created a newfound mission in my life.  I have never been the type of person who gravitated towards the spotlight.  This artistic journey has pushed me beyond my comfort zone, a bold leap of faith leading to public speaking engagements.   

I render glory and praise to God who takes the broken pieces, challenges, and painful experiences of my life, and gives me Hope through Him.  The hymn entitled, "Because He Lives," by William and Gloria Gaither, "My Redeemer Lives," by Nicole C. Mullen, and "One Thing Remains" by Kristian Stanfill have special meaning to me. I know because Jesus Lives, I can face uncertain days. .  

Thank you for allowing me to share my story as well as placing your orders for prints of my paintings. When I reflect on how this journey began to where it is now, I am grateful and humbled.  

Songs: The Hawkins Family - Be Grateful; Ethel Waters - His Eyes Is On The Sparrow; On Jordan's Stormy Banks Perryman Indelible Grace (feat. Matthew Perryman Jones), Jesus I My Cross Have Taken (Enfield), and Here's My Heart, Lauren Daigle on YouTube  

Don't Quit

"When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high, 
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit."

                                              Author Unknown

Listen to Overcomer by Mandisa -

© Copyright 2018 Breast Cancer Survivor's Footprints, All Rights Reserved
 P.O. Box 533, Manhattan, KS 66505-0533,

All artwork, poetry, calendar, video, and content are property of Breast Cancer Survivor's Footprints, Aribel Del Carmen Leon Parris. Images and content cannot be reproduced for commercial or non-commercial purpose without authorized written permission.  
Credits given to individual artist and their work.  All references noted where applicable.  
Breast Cancer Survivor's Footprints does not assume intellectual authority of cited sources.
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

                                             John 16:33

Tribulation: noun
1. grievous troubles, severe trial or suffering.

1. affliction, hardship, distress, adversity.


"Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

                                             Matthew 11:28

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."

                                             Revelation 3:20