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Breast Cancer Multimedia Story: Searching for participants

Looking for participants for a multimedia profile of a cancer patient, for a Boston University graduate Photojournalism student thesis.

Hello, I am a graduate Photojournalism student in the Master's program at Boston University, currently residing in Watertown. I am looking for participants to help me conduct a story on living with Cancer day to day.

This piece would lead into my thesis and would be carried out with the utmost respect. To share a brief background of why I am so interested in this particular project:

My mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer when I was six (1991) and she died when I was 12 (on my little brother's ninth birthday). At the time of her death (1997), her CA had metastasized to her bones and she had 18 tumors in her brain. Technology and medical knowledge have come a long way in the past 15 years, but we are still faced with some of the same issues today, especially the emotional, human aspect of dealing with this disease.

The year before my mother died, one of my aunts was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and five years after my mother died, my aunt also died, leaving behind my four young cousins and their father.

This year, my grandmother (on my mother's side) was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, as was another one of my aunts, two months later. Unfortunately, they are back home in the Midwest and I am out here on the East Coast, at least until I finish school.

When I was younger, I was part of a group that started out as "Komen Kids" and later became "Kids Konnected" and was a support group for children that have a parent with cancer. It was structured on the idea that cancer does not only effect the individual, but the entire family. The way that all of the kids stuck by one another (including me, even after my mother died), taught me how communities can come together and also, that we're not as alone as we sometimes feel.

Though I was young when my mother passed, I have always tried to stay actively supportive of cancer (especially breast cancer) research. Through conversations with my grandma and aunt this year, I have been happy to find that so many people have reached out to them, to lift them up and help them along the way. I have met many that were not as fortunate.

My hope in producing a multimedia piece in the life of a cancer patient, would not be exploitative, nor for profit, but rather to document the daily life of an individual living with this disease. I would be open to any ideas, respectful of any family wishes, and the participants would have full access to all of my material. I want to be able to get the already known notion, further into the public eye, through acute awareness. I feel that awareness is important, but medical jargon and terminology can be alienating to those that are not familiar. In cases such as this, I believe it is beneficial to attach the human element of faces and names to facts to heighten awareness, but also identity and personal interest.

If you are interested, know someone who may be in the area or have any other way to help me facilitate this project or know where I can go to find possibly interested individuals, could I please ask for you to get touch or fo your expertise?

Thank you very much for your time and consideration in advance,

Jasmin Pellegrino

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