Gabriela Herstik
Updated Sep 13, 2017 @ 10:23 am
Samantha Paige /

After successful removal of implants after a preventative double mastectomy in January 2016, Samantha Paige determined that she needed a way to help people deal with the major life decisions they make. Titled “Last Cut,” the photography project she started has transformed into one that includes a podcast, an online and offline community, and events that all revolve around those moments that make or break us.

As a young adult cancer survivor and BRCA1 (a gene linked to breast cancer) previvor, Samantha herself knows what it’s like to make life-changing calls on her own.

These decisions, which she calls “last cuts,” are what inspired her to start her project of the same name.

She tells HelloGiggles that the inspiration for the project came from…

This need for community and for conversation is the flame behind Last Cut. After months of sharing her own story, Samantha was inspired to share other stories as well. “We started to build a community in a bigger way by having these really incredible conversations, and then toward the end of last year, decided to turn all of that into a podcast and put it out into the world,” she reveals.

What started as a documentary project with writing and photos turned into a podcast, with its second season just being released. While last season focused on the last cuts and big decisions her interviewees made, Season 2 focuses on freedom, as well as the idea of feeling like a stranger in your own body and life.

While these last cuts may make us feel lonely, Samantha reminds us that we’re never alone.

While we may be the one who has to decide what’s best for ourselves, in the end, these last cuts are really valuable lessons. And it’s important to remember that we’re constantly making them. But, there is one big lesson Samantha learned from her’s.

All the last cuts we make lead us to a deeper sense of self, which is another theme of the project. The goal for Samantha with Last Cut is to create a global community around tough, truthful decisions. And to create a place where people can continuously come to share, be inspired, and talk about what it means to create a life that feels whole and authentic.

As for what’s next, Last Cut will be sponsoring an exhibit in New York called “Notes to a Friend,” which vocalizes a young woman’s feelings during her second time facing cancer. Samantha’s also working on her second book, and Season 2 of Last Cut Conversations is out now, which means this project won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

We couldn’t be happier about that.