Cody came to our very first Chester headshots day which we host at the Abode Hotel. We use a top floor suite with a large balcony and we have space for studio backdrops and natural backdrops using Chester city centre.

I met Cody Gapare a few years ago at a networking event in Northwich and we chatted about her business and her plans to develop and market an eyelash system for people who had lost their natural eyelashes. Five years on, Cody’s plans have become a reality and C-Lash is becoming a major brand in eyewear.

The Abode Hotel in Chester is a great location for our headshots days. It has underground parking and is close to the A55 and M56 making it very convenient for clients in West Cheshire, Wirral and North Wales.

This is Cody’s Story:

Life never works out quite the way you expect it to. In-fact someone once told me that, life is what happens to you while you are busy making plans. This does not always have to be a bad thing, because if you open yourself to possibilities, life can take you to places beyond your wildest dreams.

My name is Codilia Gapare and in July 2014 I found a lump in right breast. I immediately made an appointment to have some tests done and was told to come back ten days later. The day of the results was the 11th of August 2014. The reason I will always remember this day, is because I also had another very important meeting that day at 18.00hrs in Manchester. 11th of August 2014 became a turning point in my life because of the choices I made. It was the day I chose to dance in the rain instead of waiting for the storm to pass.

Before I go any further, let me digress a little. Growing up I had always dreamt of being a lawyer. When I came to the U.K. I started studying to qualify to study Law at University. After 3 years I finally had the qualifications I needed to go to University! I promptly applied for a place at Manchester Metropolitan University. On the 11th of August 2014 I had my final interview at MMU at 6.00pm. Life was going according to plan!

On that same day at 2.45pm (just over 3 hours before my interview) I walked into Leighton Hospital to find out the results of the test I had had ten days earlier. My world went into slow motion when the doctor told me that I had breast cancer. I had somehow managed to persuade myself over the past ten days that I could not possibly have cancer. I thought I was too young, too black, too skinny and too active to have cancer, but I was wrong. I was now part of a statistic that no one wanted to be part of.

It is hard to imagine how one would deal with such news. I suppose I would have been forgiven for crying or going home and bury my head under the covers or even go to the pub and drown my pain. I did none of these things. An hour after receiving the worst news of my life, I was driving from Crewe to Manchester for my interview at MMU. I don’t think at this point I knew why I had decided to make this choice.

The interview went really well until the interviewer asked me if I knew of anything that that might interfere with my study at the college. Had I anticipated the question I am sure I would have lied. I was caught off guard and I decided to come clean and tell the truth. I told the lady that I had been told only 3 hours before that I had breast cancer. It was only when she asked me why I still made the decision to come that I understood my actions. This is what I told her.

‘For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a lawyer. Today I received news that can potentially derail my dream, but I have worked too hard to get to this point. Cancer is just a chapter in my book and is never going to define me, but this moment will. So if it’s all the same with you, I would be grateful if you could give me a chance to follow my dream’.

Why am I telling you this story? Because I hope it inspires someone out there. I realise that life comes without guarantees. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. But whatever the situation, we always, always have a choice. Accepting or fighting, optimistic or pessimistic, victim or survivor. And at any point you have the right to stop and say, this is Not how my story is going to end! Every day is a chance to start afresh. Be it to change the course of your life or to continue a fight. And if an obstacle is thrown in your way, well, why not turn it into a stepping stone.

Cody’s story is truly remarkable and I’m really pleased to be able to share it on our blog. If you’d like to arrange a headshot session for yourself or just have a chat call us on 0800 304 7375 or use our contact page.

Upper body business portrait of a black woman photographed with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

Very close up, cropped headshot of a black female photographed with flash and natural light.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a white blouse and grey jacket photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the right of the photo.

Upper body business portrait of a black woman photographed with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

Head and shoulders business portrait of a black woman wearing a white blouse and grey jacket photographed with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

Three-quarter body business portrait of a black woman photographed in a portrait format as a PR photo, with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a yellow blouse photographed with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a white blouse and grey jacket photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the left of the photo.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a white blouse and grey jacket photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the right of the photo.

Professional close cropped headshot of a black woman wearing a black sleeveless blouse, photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the right of the photo.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a black sleeveless blouse, photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the right of the photo.

Professional very close cropped headshot of a black woman wearing a black sleeveless blouse, photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the right of the photo.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a white blouse and scarf, photographed with Profoto studio flash on dark grey background with shoulders angled to the left of the photo.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a white blouse and scarf, photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the left of the photo.

Head and shoulders business portrait of a black woman wearing a white blouse and grey jacket photographed with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

Upper body business portrait of a black woman photographed in a wide format as a banner for website, with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.