1 Jen triptych FLAT

The Battle we didn’t choose

I came across Angelo Merendino and his Wife Jen story thanks to our S4C New York friends. Reading the story, seeing the photos, triggered a mechanisms that took us here today. We exhibited Angelo’s reportage in NY in our 4C4C collective show.

After that, Angelo – by then featured in another exhibit, was notified that his photos were removed due to complaints of some visitors. Those images were too disturbing!

We could not stand still. We decided to show his work as much as we could, to raise awareness not only on Breast Cancer (October is the month of Breast Cancer Awareness)  but on Love and Friendship. On how much is important to have familiy and friends close to you during your fight. A fight you didn’t choose.

This story will be featuerd in the upcoming Perugia SocialPhotoFestival and we’ll do all we can to raise awareness and make this story circulate. Help us.

Antonio Amendola

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My Wife’s Fight with Breast Cancer

(by Angelo Merendino)

On September 1st, 2007, I married the girl of my dreams.

Jen was my best friend and I knew the first minute I saw her that she was the one.

The following February, only five months after our wedding, Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer. Eight months later and after a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation treatments and reconstructive surgery, and just past our first anniversary, we started to put our life back together. 

Jen (click to see the photo gallery)

Then, in April of 2010 our biggest fear became our reality, Jen’s cancer had metastasized to her liver and bone.

In December of 2011, Jen passed. 

At times during Jen’s treatment we realized that our family and friends did not understand how serious our life had become, and really, how could they know?

‘Side Effects’ (click to see the photo gallery)

Thankfully Jennifer let me photograph our day-to-day life. Our hope was that we could share with others the challenges faced by those struggling with cancer and the importance of family and friends.

My goal is to publish a book that will accompany a traveling exhibition of these photographs, our story, and raise awareness to the realities of a daily life with cancer and the importance of being there for someone who is fighting for his or her life.  

While hospitalized, Jen asked me to bring our clippers from home and shave her head, since chemotherapy was causing her hair to fall out.

My photographs are not just about cancer, they are about love and life, and never giving up. They are about embracing every second.

Angelo Merendino

 

Honeymoon…




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