“My survival alone was a miracle.” Diagnosed in 2002 with a life threatening head and neck cancer, Liam Ryan’s doctors told him he should have never survived.…
“From my earliest years through to today, I have always thought in images,” says Bill Aron, photographer and author of New Beginnings: The Triumphs of 120 Cancer Survivors which highlights the indestructible spirit of cancer survivors of all ages.
His love of photography was sparked as a 10 year old while on vacation with his mom in Atlantic City. Being a typical sneaky and curious young boy, Bill snuck off to Steel Pier, a carnival-like atmosphere. He approached the large roulette wheel and plucked down a nickel on the number 48.
The attendant immediately reached for what was obviously the most sought after prize, a large stuffed teddy bear. Bill stared at the man, shook his head, and said, “no, not that” as he pointed to the Brownie Hawkeye camera package. There he stood first camera in hand, a camera that he has kept all these years. and he’s kept it all these years.
Bill has devoted his professional life to photographing Jewish communities from the bustling shops and synagogues of New York City’s Lower East Side to the dwindling, yet strong Jewish community of Havana to the again activists Jews of Venice, CA to the innovative member of New York’s Havurah movement, from Jerusalem to Moscow and the Mississippi delta to the city of New Orleans, and from Holocaust survivors to cancer survivors.
It was during Bill’s treatment for his second cancer diagnosis that he decided that he wanted to produce the kind of book he wished had existed when he was first diagnosed, a book that told enough stories of survivors that he could surely identify with at least one, and preferably more individuals facing similar circumstances. He wanted to produce a book with enough hope that even he, a cynic at heart, would find inspiration.
This project was no minor undertaking as Bill spent anywhere from 1-2 & 1/2 hours with each survivor followed by identifying the starting point for the photography which is a reflection of each survivor’s perspective on how to best capture their thoughts and feeling about what they went through.
The personal impact of each and every survivor featured is immeasurable. Bill says that he has learned not only how to survive, but also the importance of finding purpose amidst the trials and of making his life mean something.
It is Bill’s utmost desire that each person who experience his book will walk away inspired to make the most of their lives: doing, creating, loving, and helping. To Bill, that is the essence and meaning of life.
An excerpt from the article: KF: Are you saying that if one changes their diet from animal based protein to plant-based protein that the disease process of canc…
She has been a cancer patient, survivor, heart transplant recipient and documentary film producer.
As a child, she was successfully treated for Ewing’s Sarcoma. Her experience led her to become a nurse serving the physical, psychosocial, and educational needs of children, adolescents, and their families along the cancer trajectory.
Stephanie holds a B.A. in Psychology from Furman University, and a B.S., and M.S in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Florida. At Dartmouth, Stephanie helped establish the Survivorship Clinic with Eric Larsen, MD and Sara Chaffee, MD. This clinic provided ongoing personal support and education for childhood cancer survivors and their families.
In April 2008, Stephanie’s heart failed as a result of the radiation and Doxorubicin used to cure her Ewing’s Sarcoma as a child. She received a heart transplant at the Cleveland Clinic.
As a result of this experience, she co-produced an award winning documentary ‘Resilient: the Story of Late Effects of Cancer Treatment’, highlighting the challenges faced by survivors, families, and friends.
Stephanie resides in the metro Atlanta area with her husband and their 12-year-old-son. The Zimmermans enjoy everything from Formula One Racing and college & NFL football to go carting, ziplining, and cycling.
Please feel free to contact Stephanie at email@example.com.
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