NiqueWear -2015 Summer Catalog
Weedmaps: Canna Care Docs
Video Produced by The North Kingstown Marketing Co. (formerly I.C.E. Agency)
Channel 12 Street Stories.
FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Monique Pichette was tough enough to take the stage as a bodybuilder in her teens, and later had the grit to become a Marine, but breast cancer was different.
“And I just teared up in the doctor’s office and said ‘wow.’ I was getting ready to lose my hair, not my breast,” she said, thinking back to the day her doctor told her she’d need a mastectomy. “I always struggled with body image. I struggled with eating disorders. I’ve struggled through trying to feel good enough around other women. Then this?”
That stark recollection is a dark contrast to her demeanor in the gym, where she often giggles through her grueling work out.
“It’s getting harder to talk,” she said from a treadmill, giggling yet again. “The gym is my psychiatrist. I just love working out. It changes everything.”
Breast cancer changed a few things too, knocking her down twice within two years. First in November of 2011, then with a relapse in May of 2012.
“I cried. I mean I just cried. It’s hard to talk about it. I was tugging on my hair. I did it every day,” she said. “And it just started falling out in clumps. I just broke down in tears because the reality was there. This wasn’t a dream anymore. It was really happening.”
Despite being weakened by radiation, she decided to return to the gym and set what some might’ve considered an unrealistic goal: To get back on the stage in a bodybuilding competition, decades after she’d competed the first time.
The guy in the pink shoes running next to her was her high school sweetheart. Around the time she relapsed, he was suddenly there for support, 27 years after they had last dated. Bobby McCarthy helped her survive the chemo, and pushed her to beat back what the treatment did to her body.
“You got it. Let’s go,” he said to her as she twisted her way through a set of sit-ups. “You beat cancer. You can beat this.”
Fifty-one weeks after the cancer returned, Monique did take the stage for a bodybuilding competition. But finishing fourth and taking home a trophy in the NPC New England masters division last November mattered less than the message she could offer to other cancer patients.
“I want to represent life again,” she said. “But to know my scars and everything I’ve been though, I was already a winner.”
She credits her trainer and McCarthy for her success, but he tosses the credit right back to her.
“She motivates me in the sense that she’s very intelligent,” McCarthy said. “She’s so willing to help everyone else. She has a big heart. She has a good life ahead of her, and she’s going to live as long as she can.”
“There I was, bald and frail,” she said. “I had no idea how they’d accept me at the gym.”
She’s neither bald nor frail anymore, but she is determined to build a non-profit to help cancer patients and caregivers at The Philip Hulitar Inpatient Center. Monique is in the process of designing a clothing line that she hopes will raise money for the foundation that carries her friend’s name.
“I named it after Sara Hayes,” she said. “She lost her battle with cancer.”
Monique is doing everything she can to win her fight.
It’s a good life, if you don’t weaken.
My company, the I.C.E. Agency, recently shot a video that will be part of a national campaign to raise awareness about stress and cancer. The subject of the video, Monique Pichette, is a two time cancer survivor who loves working out, her family and friends, and being a source of strength in the cancer community. We chose to film it at her health club where she trains. It was a fitting setting for Monique, as she battled cancer using positive vibes and fitness, working out even while on chemotherapy.
The crew and I arrived at General Fitness, Fall River around 8:15 am. We – Jason Ruel, Steve Reale, my business partner Vic Pichette, and I – had filled my Tahoe with tons of lighting equipment, cameras, etc. General Fitness is located in an old mill complex and the aged, yet powerful look of the exterior made me instantly feel that we had chosen our location right. The guys and I lugged the gear up a winding, wooden staircase to the main floor, then up another set of stairs to our spot on the 3rd floor. By 9:15, we had the gear – lighting, camera tripods, sound – set up for our initial walk through.
The setting of the video was depict a dingy, hard core gym where sweat and performance were valued more than sex and glamour. General Fitness has the feel of fitness with tons of both modern and conventional machines for a wide range of the exercise world. We set up in the far corner of the 3rd floor in front of oversize windows that provided us with more lighting than 50 tripods of lights. The boxing scene concept was a truly collaborative effort. We wanted to show Monique, rising from her seat or bench, rising to punch the living daylights out of cancer in the form of a punching bag. Rising out of her misery, standing up, pushing through the pain and anguish cancer had given her without her permission, doing what she loved with her soul mate, Bobby, encouraging her, motivating her as her training partner. Bobby is without a doubt her training partner in the gym and in life.
The punching bag was worn. It was suspended from the ceiling by a rusted chain secured to a wooden beam that was most definitely original to the building. Without special effects or CGI, this bag and its aura created the perfect prop for our video. It was heavy, unwavering when struck by normal hands. The same can be said for the fight against cancer. It takes a blow of epic proportions sometimes to beat cancer. Thus, our goal for Monique in this scene was for her to get up and with all of her 115 lbs might and strike down this bag, strike down her cancer, with the most incredible right hook the world has ever seen.
The gym was active and the intensity of the moment was palpable. Steve and Jason continued to work the scenes and make sure we had cameras and lighting in the right spots. Pacing and going over notes and scene sequences. Looking for the perfect shot, using both natural lighting and as well as the equipment we brought. Marking our actor’s spots on the gym floor, then coming up with another great idea and moving those marks. Talking, laughing, reminiscing about other shoots, talking about the enormity of what we were about to film. The mood was business like for the most part but with a nice mix of humor. And then, the actors arrived. It was showtime.
Stay tuned for more information on this video shoot as well as the launch date for Monique’s website. Her motto “It’s a Good Life, if You Don’t Weaken” will inspire you in whatever challenges life is presenting. The I.C.E. Agency is proud to be working with Monique Pichette and others that battle cancer.