Long before I became a professional photographer, resigned from a successful career in pharmaceuticals months after receiving a diagnosis of thyroid cancer and undergoing surgery to remove a tumor the size of an avocado pit from my neck. The tumor was benign, however the impact of all the medical appointments, undergoing surgery, recovery, medical bills, and changes in lifestyle - the experience re-wires the brain a bit!
One’s life truly does flash before their eyes in those moments, as it doesn’t matter what kind of cancer one may or may not experience, the word “cancer” strikes a low blow. Over the course of a few months my perspective of life at that time changed. This was all a very long time ago, however it was the “tipping point” which has led me to where I am today.
A decade later, the world of science and medicine found it’s way back into my life as a working photographer. In 2017, I completed a year long photography assignment with Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), collecting “day-in-the-life” photo essays of those impacted by breast cancer. The work changed my perspective on what I could be doing with my photography career and how I might change the business plan to create platform for those impacted by cancer, affording them an opportunity to share their personal stories.
Photo: C.T. Bell for Blue Ridge Overland Gear