Not as I Pictured

December 29, 2010 · 2 comments

My cousin is going on 3 years of clean scans following his brain tumor removal. It was by far the longest day in our family’s life, waiting for the surgeon to come out and speak to us and let us know how he did.  He’s been on chemo ever since, as well as anti-seizure meds. He is a true survivor.

One of the things that kept him going was a picture of a musician who had a tattoo of the word Strength on his partially shaved head.  The picture was taken by a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer named John Kaplan.  The picture my cousin had on his wall was printed from the internet, so not very good quality.  His brother, knowing how important that photo was, sent an email to the photographer.  It was coincidental, but he, too, was fighting cancer. After exchanging emails, John decided he would not only get a print for my cousin, but he would come to Detroit and deliver it personally.

People who suffer and survive and fight cancer (and other diseases) know that once you find something to hold on to; a bright spot that helps you continue to fight, you don’t let it go. This picture was my cousin’s.

Not only did John show up on Ryan’s doorstep, he brought the rockstar with him to deliver a giant framed photograph.  The video of it is inspiring, funny and downright awesome.

John Kaplan documented his journey with Lymphoma with photographs and video and created a documentary to show people a small glimpse into fighting cancer.  It’s winning awards all over the place and he’s giving away 10,000 copies for free.

For anyone who has been touched by cancer, it’s a great short film of what it’s like to be diagnosed, what treatment can be like, and the emotions involved.

Go here and order one – for yourself or for someone you love.  And once you see it, let me know what you thought (and tell me how awesome my cousins are!)

EDITED: Here’s the link to the picture!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brittany December 29, 2010 at 11:41 pm

That is an amazing story! So inspiring, and now I must find that picture!


moosh in indy. January 3, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I’m all goosebumpy.


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