Portraits of Inspiration

The METAvivor ~ Merendino Gallery Exhibition – A photographic exhibit of women with metastatic breast cancer, also featuring the photographs of Breast Cancer Consortium member Angelo Merendino.

Angelo began documenting his wife Jen’s illness photographically shortly after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2008. It was just five months after they had gotten married that Angelo and Jen entered the world of cancer. Angelo captured what it was like to endure ongoing treatments, side effects, emotional distress, compromised function, and the difficulties and uplifts of everyday living. He writes on his website: “My photographs show this daily life. They humanize the face of cancer, on the face of my wife.” Ever present behind the camera Angelo also documented the sadness, isolation, and love of a couple that would share a lifetime of experience in barely a few years. After a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and reconstructive surgery the couple celebrated their first anniversary with the news that Jen was cancer free. Two years after that, Jen had a metastasis to her liver and hip. Eventually the cancer went to her brain, and she died. Angelo Merendino’s pictures eventually came together as a photo-documentary called, “The Battle We Didn’t Choose: My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer.”

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