She was riding high with a blossoming modeling career when she got the devastating news that she had cancer.
Elizaveta Bulokhova was also pregnant with her first child when doctors told her she had osteosarcoma in her jawbone.
At just 24-years old she lost 95 per cent of her jaw to bone cancer.
The model from Ontario, Canada faced an exhausting 16-hour surgery to remove the tumor and the surrounding area. Specialists advised Elizaveta it was in her best interest to terminate her pregnancy before undergoing chemotherapy.
But after the surgery her wounds were slow to heal, this caused a delay in her chemo schedule. Thankfully she was allowed her to give birth to her son Valentin 10 weeks early.
The now 25-year-old, who worked as a fashion model for seven years, stepped in front of the camera with her son for a series of stunning photos.
Elizaveta, who lost her hair during chemotherapy, posed with nothing but colorful make-up on her face.
Valentin’s father and Elizaveta’s boyfriend Roman Troubetskoi also appears with her in the powerful images.
‘I just wanted to reminisce about what it felt like to be myself before everything,’ Elizaveta told Daily Mail Online of the shoot.
‘I did it for myself [as a way] to remember things because I really miss my work; I really miss the atmosphere and being in front of the camera.’
‘I didn’t think of the outcome or anything,’ she added.
After a number of excruciating surgeries, Elizaveta’s mouth was wired shut for 10 weeks.
The mom-of-one got her nutrition through a nasogastric feeding tube and a tracheostomy helped her to breathe.
Elizaveta couldn’t talk, brush her teeth, or walk properly during her traumatic cancer fight.
The came the even more devastating news. Elizaveta was told she would have to terminate her pregnancy before undergoing five cycles of chemotherapy.
‘I just told myself whatever the universe has in store for me I will accept it,’ she recalled. ‘If my baby is meant to be born, he will be born.’
Complications from her surgery continued to delay Elizaveta’s chemotherapy – and saved her from terminating the pregnancy.
When Valentin was 28 weeks, Elizaveta and her boyfriend Roman asked doctors if she could safely deliver her son.
Doctors tried to induce natural labor during the first week of December, but she wouldn’t dilate, so they proceeded with a cesarean section.
A week later, on Christmas day, Elizaveta bravely started her first round of chemo.
Valentin spent 51 days in neonatal intensive care, which allowed the new mom to take things slow.
Elizaveta visited her new baby boy whenever it was safe to be around him.
‘In the sense it gave us a little bit of time to take it easy,’ she said of the support she had at the hospital.
When her cancer is in remission, Elizaveta will have to have more reconstructive surgery.
And while her modeling career is still on hold, her incredible photoshoot made Elizaveta feel like her old self again.
‘To do what I love the most, it made me so happy,’ she said.