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As October draws to a close, the month of pink ribbons everywhere will be subsiding.The Pink Ribbon campaign was a brilliant and very successful campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer in an effort to have more women screened and help minimize the astronomical numbers that succumb to this disease. However, as with many things, the pink ribbon is so passe, so much a part of our lives especially during this month, that it is far too easy to forget that it is more than an advertising campaign, it is a life and death struggle for too many people.
The SCAR project by photographer David Jay, in its own words attempts to show that breast cancer is not a pink ribbon. For many, many women and those that love them, it is a reality that we can often forget when we, those who are healthy, are buried in a sea of pink ribbons. According to an interview by The Daily Muse with photographer David Jays he began the project when a good friend of his, in her 20s developed breast cancer. It was his attempt to show the honest effect of breast cancer on young women and help to empower them in the fight of their lives. His photographs are powerful and show courageous women who are living with the reality behind the ribbon. His photographs will be on display in New York City through the beginning of November. You can also read more about this project on his website.
“Beauty is not caused, it is.” ~ Emily Dickinson
I came upon this article on CNN about a professional photographer in Michigan who began offering free portraits to people suffering from life threatening or terminal illnesses. It was conceived after two of the photographer’s sisters-in-law succumbed to breast cancer. It was named the Oldham Project after the deceased sisters. The photographer, Terri Shaver has been doing this since 2008. In 2010, she created an offshoot called “Be Bold, Feel Beautiful” to offer portrait sessions to women diagnosed with cancer. This particular project focused on women who had lost their hair as a result of cancer treatments. The photographer hoped that by photographing these women, she would help them see the beauty within themselves.
All too often, especially as women, the loss of hair during cancer treatments can be very traumatic. Shaver hoped that by photographing the women, she would help to empower these women in the challenges that they were facing and would continue to face.The definition of “beauty” according to Dictionary.com: the quality present in a thing or person that gives intensepleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arisingfrom sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.),a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as apersonality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).
Looking at the pictures in the gallery on the website, it is hard not to see the beauty, and the strength, in these women.
- Breast cancer photographer makes women feel beautiful (bonjupatten.wordpress.com)
- Breast cancer photographer makes women feel beautiful (cnn.com)
I came across this one thanks to @sCartierLiebel on Twitter. A little six year old girl who was diagnosed with brain cancer and given 135 days to live wrote hundreds of little notes to her parents and baby sister and hid them all over their house before her death. The child, who was deprived of her ability to speak shortly after her diagnosis, began to write notes to her parents and younger sister. After her death, her parents found these notes all over the house, tucked in to corners, drawers, cds, china and glassware. Each parent has one note that is still unopened.
The story of the little girl was started by her parents as a journal for her younger sister to remember the six-year-old after her death from brain cancer. The family agreed to publish the journal and notes into a book called Notes Left Behind where all the proceeds would go to The Cure Starts Now a cancer foundation. The story can be found at Channel 5 News .