In the Spring of this year I was approached by a lovely young lady by the name of Mary McCusker. She said she had a proposition for me. Well, needless to say that got my attention. "How would you like to do a cancer calendar"? Her idea, having experienced cancer first hand was as follows. After the diagnosis, treatment and emotional upheaval attendant to it of cancer, a deep depression frequently sets in. She said that each individual has to find a reason to wake up in the morning. Something that gives them joy and meaning to their life. My mission (should I choose to accept it.....does that sound like Mission Impossible?) was to photograph those women doing that "thing" which gave their life validation post cancer. After much brain storming we agreed that these were not to be the usual portraits but rather environmental images. They were to be evocative of their unique and individual paths to normalcy, if in truth one can ever be "normal" after such a trauma. This was to be a challenging project indeed.
In Sherman Oaks, in the San Fernando Valley is a free cancer support center by the name of WeSpark. The "spark" stands for Support, Prevention, Acceptance, Recovery and Knowledge. It is a beacon as well as a haven for cancer patients, their families and their friends. You may visit them in person at 13520 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, California or visit their website at: http://www.wespark.org/ We put the word out about the calendar and most of our models were recruited there.
In the course of shooting this project, I met women that were strong beyond belief. They were not going to quit, they were I felt, Warriors For Life. I made a DVD of the calendar and that is the title that jumped into my mind. Each one had a distinctive power and method for overcoming one of the most terrifying diagnoses in the medical lexicon. I would like to share this calendar and their insights and empowerment with you.
SHOULD YOU WISH TO PURCHASE THIS TAX DEDUCTIBLE CALENDAR FOR YOURSELF OR AS A TRULY MEANINGFUL GIFT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, YOU MAY DO SO IN ONE OF TWO WAYS. EITHER STOP BY THE WE SPARK OFFICE IN SHERMAN OAKS AT 13520 VENTURA BLVD. OR CALL MARY AT (818) 703-0220 TO HAVE IT MAILED TO YOU. THE PRICE IS $20.00 ALL OF WHICH GOES DIRECTLY TO WE SPARK.
Please click on the arrowhead at right to scroll the images........
CALENDAR GIRLS OF 2006 WARRIORS FOR LIFE
The Lotus flower is a symbol of rebirth and empowerment. It grows in mud, the deeper the better. Although mud clings to the leaves of most plants, not so with the Lotus. Out of the swamp of suffering- blossoms spring.