The Meaning of Now: Living Life with Cancer
In loving memory of Shirley Reese. November 9, 1953 - July 16, 2019.
Humans are not immortal. We all have a date in which we will pass on. We could live until we reach 105, or our lives could be cut short tomorrow without warning.
This is a story about Shirley Reese who chose to see her cancer diagnosis as a gift. Despite the physical and mental battle of coping with treatment and the side
effects of chemo, Shirley decided to use this time to ‘live’ with cancer instead of ‘dying’ from it.
With eight children, twenty-two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, 64-year-old Shirley Reese was a radiant spirit. At the time of these photographs, she had stage four cancer in her
esophagus and multiple tumors in her lungs. She said that most people in her condition are on a feeding tube, but ‘Mama Reese,’ as everyone calls her, had been an advocate her entire life and was determined to use her cancer experience to uplift and strengthen those around her by sharing her story and solidifying her life’s legacy.
This series was part of a solo exhibition at Photoville 2018 as a commissioned work by United Photo Industries, The Mayor’s office of Media & Entertainment in collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering’s ‘Visible Ink’ Program.