Photo exhibit offers new perspective on pediatric cancer

A stunning photo exhibit offering a new perspective on pediatric cancer is being brought to the Fairfield Public Library. Circle of Care, a nonprofit that provides comprehensive support to children with cancer and their families, will bring its statewide traveling exhibit, “There Is…Life Within the Journey,” to the Bruce S. Kershner Gallery at the Fairfield Public Library, 1080 Old Post Road, from June 22-25. There will be an opening reception on June 22 at 6 p.m.

This compelling exhibit offers an alternative view of childhood cancer and features more than 20 images of children from communities across Connecticut, delicately captured by photographer Jeanna Shepard.  Town Librarian Karen Ronald said, “I was so moved by the photos of these beautiful and brave children. They are a testament to the value of life and we are so honored to host this exhibit at the Library.” Developed by Circle of Care, “There Is…Life Within the Journey” features a stunningly emotional and intimate look at children with cancer and the characteristics that comprise the authentic journey through pediatric cancer treatment.

“So much of what we see about pediatric cancer doesn’t tell the real story,” said Fairfield resident Jeff Kimball, Executive Director of Circle of Care. “Children are more than their cancer, and their journey through treatment is about more than the clichéd images of sick kids with IV poles. There are so many assumptions and a great deal of confusion about what the journey through pediatric cancer is really like. This exhibit beautifully illuminates the life within the journey and focuses the narrative around pediatric cancer to highlight the strength and character of the children. Childhood cancer can be an isolating experience. Through this exhibit, we seek to show these children they aren’t alone.”

“We are so grateful to The Friends of the Fairfield Public Library, Town Librarian Karen Ronald, Bill Hopf and everyone in the Fairfield community who have been so receptive to helping us honor children, not the disease they have,” said Liz Salguero, Co-Founder and Board President. “I hope through this exhibit we can break down the barriers and enable the community to come closer to these children and families who need our support and care.”

“These images provide an opportunity for people to look past the cancer, and into the children for who they are as they go through this journey,” added photographer Jeanna Shepard, who also conceived the exhibit. “Children are wonderful to photograph because they open themselves emotionally and by shooting these images in the hospital where the children receive treatment, we were able to capture a very intimate look at pediatric cancer.”

Following the event at the Fairfield Public Library on June 22, the portraits will remain on exhibit through Thursday, June 25. The exhibit has previously been displayed in New Canaan, and Circle of Care plans to bring “There Is…Life Within the Journey” to at least nine different communities throughout the state over the course of the next year, primarily in public galleries. The exhibit will also become a permanent installation in the pediatric oncology unit at Smilow Cancer Center at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital in September, coinciding with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Circle of Care worked with local Fairfield County businesses to create the exhibit prints, including Photographic Solutions in Norwalk for the portrait prints, and Rockwell Art and Framing in New Canaan for the framing.

The children featured in the exhibit all receive treatment at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. If you would like to have the exhibit featured in your community, please contact [email protected] To learn more about Circle of Care and “There Is…Life Within The Journey,” please visit www.thecircleofcare.org/journey.

Circle of Care for Families of Children with Cancer is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization that supports children with cancer and their families during treatment. They have offices in Fairfield.

All programs at the Fairfield Public Library are free. To register, or for more information about this and other programs, visit us online at: www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org or call 203-256-3160. Follow the Fairfield Public Library on Twitter: www.twitter.com/fairfieldpublib and Facebook: www.facebook.com/fairfieldlibrary.

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