Silver Linings: How Three Women Triumphed over Cancer


Courageous women who fought back with style and grace in the face of illness.

Each of these three incredible women forged their own paths through their individual diagnoses. They braved ravaging treatments and monumental changes in the one thing they thought they could trust – their own bodies. Through hair loss and mastectomies, they had to redefine a sense of self-knowledge. They are still defining it.

Their journeys all led them to discover what they wanted to do and who they wanted to be. For Kelsey Bucci, Grace Dubose and Karen Miracky, that process of discovery took them to new places in their professional lives — all three started or grew successful businesses while fighting cancer — and we are so grateful they chose us to share their stories.


Kelsey Bucci

Kelsey Bucci did everything science tells you to do to kill cancer – chemotherapy, radiation, a year of at-home chemo, a bilateral mastectomy. “I nuked my body with everything I possibly could,” she said. Through that process, she learned a lot about what she was putting in, and on, her body.

Bucci was diagnosed with stage 2b invasive ductal carcinoma at age 30 one month after moving to Savannah with her husband, who is in the military, and their four kids. She had no family history and no genetic links. “It was definitely a freak mutation for me,” she said.

In a new city with few friends, she had trouble finding people in similar situations, so she decided to share her diagnosis and entire journey on her blog,, and through social media. “It connected me with an entire community of young survivors and fighters with this disease,” Bucci said. “I built a great community of women through social media. They are a huge source of inspiration for life beyond cancer as well.”

"I built a great community of women through social media. They are a huge source of inspiration for life beyond cancer as well."

As she shared the nitty-gritty of treatment on her blog, questions about skincare products kept coming up. During treatment, it’s completely normal to break out in rashes from the chemotherapy and hormone injections. “None of the skincare products I used before seemed to work,” Bucci said. She started to take a very close look at the products and ingredients she was using. “You can buy things that say ‘all-natural,’ but they’re filled with all kinds of chemicals that are skin irritants, hormone disruptors, and carcinogenic ingredients. I thought, 'If I shouldn’t be using these things when my system is vulnerable, should I be using them at all?'”

Bucci went on a mission to rid her regiment of all harmful ingredients. “I went through my entire house and got rid of anything that had chemicals in it. I talked about that on my blog. More and more women were asking what I used and where they could buy it,” Bucci said. That’s how her online store, The Paris Laundry (, was born. “I felt I needed to create one central place where I could send women to find products I vetted myself,” she said. Bucci works with Breast Cancer Prevention Partners using the lab research they have on ingredients and eliminates any brands that use those ingredients from her inventory.

Rather than being a deterrent, dealing with a cancer diagnosis turned Bucci’s drive and ambition up a few notches. “My husband would say, 'She went a little crazy.' I had this huge push during cancer,” Bucci said. “This all kind of gave my experience a purpose.”


Karen Miracky

“I’m like a new woman as each day passes,” Karen Miracky said on an early Monday morning, just a week after a bilateral mastectomy. Miracky was diagnosed with breast cancer six months after starting her own business – Cultivate. Search Professionals – a headhunting firm.

“I had the flexibility to be treated and work, but still rest. That was huge,” she said. She’d been driven to go into business for herself after many years of teaching special education then trying out a few different fields before settling into human resources and talent search. “I’ve always been looking for that thing that feels good where I can wake up in the morning and be excited to get up and accomplish things,” Miracky said. “After ten years of teaching, I was like, 'I’m not doing this anymore.' That was liberating to realize that you don’t have to be unhappy with your job. You can enjoy what you do, and that’s ok.”

"I was shocked at how I still felt like a woman without those things. I wouldn’t have discovered that had I not allowed myself to accept that those changes were coming."

Working through her diagnosis continued to reinforce Miracky’s purpose – it was a journey of self-discovery. “That’s the beauty of these giant life changes. People say, 'It’s amazing how you handled this.' There’s no other way I could have handled it. You’re gonna get beat down in life. Are you gonna lay down or make it better?”

Miracky is still putting words to what she went through and what it taught her, but her reflections sound a lot like a lesson on resilience and openness. “When I felt the lump, I knew in the pit of my stomach that it was not going to be good, but I knew that it was not going to be something that was going to end me. I was shocked by it, but I just thought about new boobs. That helped,” she said. Whatever cancer threw at her, she took in stride and not only accepted but embraced the changes.

When she lost her hair, she shaved her head and bought some wigs, but wearing them felt like hiding. So she stopped. Going out bald was an eye-opener. “My hair was everything. My breasts were everything. That was my femininity. To realize I was going to lose both and to just openly accept it…I was shocked at how I still felt like a woman without those things. I wouldn’t have discovered that had I not allowed myself to accept that those changes were coming.”


Grace Dubose

At age 23, Grace Dubose was trying to figure out her life. She graduated from college at the University of South Carolina, traveled a bit, and started focusing on her next steps. Those plans were interrupted with frequent visits to the doctor that year. “I went to the doctor I don’t even know how many times that year for things that kept reoccurring,” she said – acid reflux, a horrible cough, fatigue. “I knew something was wrong. I shouldn’t be going to the doctor that many times in a year.”

One day, she felt a small lump on her collarbone. The doctor could see it from behind his desk. A few weeks later, a biopsy showed what she never imagined could be true. “I one-hundred percent did not think it was going to be cancer. The doctor had said it might be mono, and I thought, 'Oh, that has to be what it is.'”

He called her in for the results of the biopsy and said, “It looks like we have our work cut out for us.” Dubose started treatments for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma the next week.

“I really appreciated the good days. During treatment, I didn’t want to do much of anything. I didn’t want to watch TV. My phone made me nauseous. That’s when I got the idea to make jewelry. It gave me something to do so that I wasn’t in bed all the time. I didn’t think it would grow like it has.”

"That’s when I got the idea to make jewelry. It gave me something to do so that I wasn’t in bed all the time. I didn’t think it would grow like it has."

Dubose started Glam & Grace Collection with her mom and twin sister. It’s how Dubose makes her living these days. “Since I didn’t have hair, the jewelry would give me confidence. Cancer is a very mental challenge. I struggled with depression. It gave me something to look forward to,” Dubose said.

Her next venture helped Dubose find even more profound meaning in her struggle. “I came up with the idea to dress up as a princess without hair and visit kids in the hospital. It gave the loss of my hair a purpose. Unfortunately, because I was sick, I couldn’t go around children. So, I put the idea into a book,” Dubose said. "The Missing Piece" was published early this year. It is available on Amazon.

Now out of treatment, Dubose is back to trying to figure out what’s next, but she knows that passion for helping children is going to play a large part in her path.

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Greatest Professional Photographers 2020

Calling South’s Greatest Photographers! Are you a professional photographer with beautiful work? Enter South’s Greatest Photographers 2020!

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Events Calendar

  • “Summon the Sea! Contemporary Artists and Moby Dick” Exhibition

    Oct 11, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Summon the Sea! Contemporary Artists and Moby Dick examines the work of six contemporary artists—Corey Arnold, Guy Ben-Ner, Patty Chang, Tristin...

  • Blowing Rock WinterFest

    Jan 23, 2020
    10:00 AM - 9:00 PM @ Downtown Blowing Rock

    Don’t hibernate-celebrate! Join us for the fun side of winter with events like the Polar Bear Plunge, WinterFeast, WinterPaws Dog Show,...

  • Savannah Jewish Film Festival

    Jan 22, 2020
    6:00 PM - 6:00 PM @ Jewish Educational Alliance of Savannah

    This year’s festival has been capsulated into five days in which movie-goers are encouraged to attend the films, enjoy meals and interact in...

  • Mountainfilm on Tour - Savannah

    Jan 23, 2020
    7:00 PM - 10:30 PM @ Trustees Theater

    Mountainfilm on Tour - Savannah returns for its 11th annual film festival on January 23-25, 2020.  Please plan to join us for a weekend of...

  • Forsyth Farmer's Market

    Jun 29, 2019
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ South end of Forsyth Park

    The Forsyth Farmers’ Market vendors offer a variety of local goods including seasonal produce, eggs, honey, pastured meat, bread, cheese,...

  • Beatles By Request

    Jan 25, 2020
    8:00 PM - 3:00 PM @ Savannah Theatre

    The Savannah Theatre cast and band recreate the timeless sound of the most influential band of the 20th century. Not an impersonation, but a...

  • Cocoa 5k Fun Run & Walk

    Feb 01, 2020
    8:00 AM - 11:00 AM @ Crystal Coast Civic Center

    Come be a part of the Cocoa Fun Run / Walk on February 1, 2020!  The 5K Race Course is flat and begins and ends at the Crystal Coast Civic Center,...

  • Carolina Chocolate Festival

    Feb 01, 2020
    9:00 AM - 6:00 PM @ Crystal Coast Civic Center

    Chocolate lovers indulge! The annual Carolina Chocolate Festival takes place at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City and is packed with...

  • First Fridays in Starland

    Jun 07, 2019
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Starland District

    First Fridays in Starland celebrates local business, art, and food in Savannah’s coolest neighborhood! Join us every First Friday of the...

  • AURA Fest: Underground Weekend

    Feb 21, 2020
    7:30 PM - 11:45 PM @ The Jinx

    AURA Fest: Underground Weekend at The Jinx February 22, 2020 Torche, Bask, Oakskin, SHEHEHE, Knightsquatch February 21, 2020 Inter Arma, CLOAK,...

  • Savannah Antiques & Architecture Weekend

    Mar 05, 2020
    6:00 PM - 6:00 PM @ Various Locations, Downtown Savannah, Georgia

    The Annual Savannah Antiques and Architecture Weekend is a three-day series of presentations, tours, appraisals, a glittering gala, and a cocktail...

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Scenes of the South

Dining in the Dark 2020

The Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision held its annual Dining in the Dark event on Saturday, January 18th at the Embassy Suites Downtown Savannah. Guests were served a four-course meal in complete darkness by the Savannah Metro's SWAT team. Dining in the Dark serves to raise awareness about vision loss.

January Brews for a Cause

South magazine in collaboration with Southern Eagle Distributing hosted their monthly Brews for a Cause on Thursday, January 16th at the Savannah Taphouse in a successful effort to raise money and awareness for the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision. The night featured delicious appetizers by Savannah Taphouse and a range of flavored Bud Light Seltzers provided by Southern Eagle. These events provide good food, fun entertainment, refreshing drinks and most importantly – raise money for a great cause! Be sure to be on the lookout for our next Brews in February!

Ford Plantation's Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting for Silk Hope

The Ford Plantation celebrated the completion of its two new Silk Hope model homes on January 10, 2020. The Silk Hope project is limited to 53 homes, on beautiful lots of buyers’ choosing amongst old oaks and a Lowcountry marsh setting. This member-backed project is the first new for sale residential development at The Ford Plantation in more than fifteen years and represents the final phase of home development to be offered. The Silk Hope community is the product of a collaboration of some of the world’s top residential architects and landscape designers and has been modeled to capture tranquil European village and Lowcountry architecture.

Mat Best Signs his New Best-seller at Nine Line

Veteran, entrepreneur and author Mat Best met fans and signed copies of his new book “Thank you for my Service” Thursday Dec. 12 at Nine Line Apparel. Best’s best-selling authorial debut chronicles his service as a U.S. Army Ranger. Best's Black Rifle Coffee co., partnered with Nine Line Apparel, has shops on River st. and off route 95 on Ft. Argyle rd.

Victory Antiques and Engel & Völkers' Holiday Party

Dickey Mopper and his team at Engel and Völkers celebrated the season at their annual holiday party on Wednesday Dec. 11, with a special appearance from the jolly fellow himself, Santa Claus. Mopper and company, celebrating alongside the crew of Victory Antiques, showed off the newest Engel and Völkers office at 1650 East Victory Dr. in Savannah.

Good Times Jazz Bar & Restaurant's 2nd Anniversary Celebration feat. Lady Leah

Jazz lovers celebrated Good Times Jazz bar's second anniversary on Nov. 8 and 9 featuring jazz vocalist Lady Leah and the culinary stylings of Good Times' chef Joe Randall, the dean of southern cuisine. In 2017 Randall teamed with Danielle and Stephen T. Moore to create one of the city's smoothest spots, a confluence of culture and taste fit for the soul of Savannah.

14th Annual Pearls to Pluff Mud Fundraiser

The 14th Annual Pearls to Pluff Mud Fundraiser was held on Friday, November 1st at the Swamp Fox Farms. Guests enjoyed listening to the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra while tasting New Orleans themed dishes. There was a silent and live auction held to raise money for the Focus Fund Campaign for the Cross Schools in Bluffton, SC.

Brews for a Cause November at Savannah Octane Bar

South magazine in collaboration with Southern Eagle Distributing hosted the last Brews for a Cause of 2019 at the Savannah Octane Bar on Thursday, November 21 in a successful effort to raise money and awareness for Georgia Police K9 Foundation. The night featured tasty chicken appetizers catered by Himalayan Curry Kitchen, and special brews from Wicked Weed and Monday Night Brewing provided by Southern Eagle. These events provide good food, fun entertainment, refreshing drinks and most importantly – raise money for a great cause! Be sure to be on the lookout for our next Brews in January!

6th Annual First Responders Luncheon

Harris Lowry Manton LLC hosted its 6th Annual First Responder Appreciation Luncheon on Monday, Oct. 28 at Daffin Park. Free lunch was offered as a “thank you” to local paramedics, firefights, police officers and emergency medical responders.

DineSouth's VIP Icebox

DineSouth 2019 VIP room sponsored by IceBound was a hit at this year’s event! With a special performance by Ken Roy, guests enjoyed exclusive vendors such as sushi from Rue de Jean and popsicles from Savannah Square Pops. Made complete with a full-serve bar, the VIP room was chillingly spectacular!