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A Daughter Lovingly Documents Her Parents Last Years Fighting Cancer Through Profoundly Touching Photographs

By Andrew Alpin, 16 January 2018


Although Cancer is one of the largest killers in the US, there are thousands who are yet to absorb in the risks of lifestyle and diet that contribute to various cancers. The biggest problem is awareness where only those care if they have had a tryst with the dreaded disease, either by contracting it themselves or living with a loved one afflicted with cancer. Now Nancy Borowick 28 a humanitarian photographer and a graduate in Anthropology and Photography from Union College brings to you photographs of the most heartfelt and endearing moments of what it’s like to live with those who have cancer. In this case her own parents.

1The cancer family


Nancy’s book The Family Imprint is based on the cancer family project in which she shares photographs of her own parents Laurel and Howie who were both diagnosed with cancer. The disease was terminal and they didn’t have long left. Nancy then documented their last days in a series of 5000 photographs which she knew would be a poignant memory kept for the rest of her life. This is the paradox of cancer.  It brings families closer even as it threatens to tear them apart. The photographs were taken in Nancy’s home where she grew up and are extremely intimate.

The cancer family.

Image Source: www.kickstarter.com

2Her mother struggled 18 years


Nancy’s mother struggled with breast cancer for 18 years. It became part of their daily life. Ultimately her dad too was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and the chances of him around long being slim. She never expected him to last as long as he did.

Nancy’s mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1979. The disease was in remission but reared up again in 2009. That’s when Nancy returned to love with them in Chappaqua New York

Her mother struggled 18 years

Image Source: www.nancyborowick.com

3The battle together


The photographs show both Nancy’s parents trying to live normal lives even as cancer slowly eats them away. You can feel the sense of love and intimacy in all of the photos which are heartwarming and tear jerking too.

Nancy’s father Howie was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic pancreatic cancer. Both parents were in their 50’s. “When my father was diagnosed, she turned her focus to him, while she also cared for herself,” Borowick said. “She was superhuman in many ways, but as one of her daughters, I felt like it was my duty to step up and support because she always put others before herself.”

The battle together

Image Source: www.nationalgeographic.com


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