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I have had the privilege of being a pediatric cancer survivor for five years. I was diagnosed with a malignant grade 3 mixed glial neuronal brain tumor when I was ten years old. As of today I am 16 years old and my tumor is stable. My cancer has taken away many things from my life but it hasn’t taken me. That’s where privilege comes in. I’m still here.
I remember when my mom and I were first approached about this photography program for children with cancer when I was at the hospital for treatment. At first I really wasn’t interested but my mom joined me up for the Shutterbugs program anyway and the rest is history. Through photography I have met new people, made friends with other kids affected by cancer and I am part of a program that is trying to make a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer.
My photos are just snapshots of moments in my life that mostly chronicle how I may have been feeling on a particular day, or capturing an experience good or bad, or just seeing something that I think looks different and cool. People, places, and things are my inspiration in my photography. It has helped me focus on the life around me. Coming to class on Saturdays is something I look forward to. Everyday I am learning to appreciate the positive aspects in my life as a survivor of pediatric cancer. Being a part of the Shutterbug family is one of them.