Selfies With Survivors: An Introduction

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October 2017) we are honoring breast cancer survivors in our practice.

To start this we asked various survivors to come into the office for a selfie with myself and/or with members of our staff or to submit a personal one with anyone of their choice.

We then asked them to share with us any aspect of their experience that would be interesting or helpful to others. We are starting tomorrow to publish the photos and the stories on our website and on social media platforms.

We expect after this roll out to make Selfies With Survivors a regular feature in our practice. The number of breast cancer survivors in this practice accumulated over thirty years of work numbers in the thousands and continues to grow.

These women (and some men) deserve to be honored. And we want to hear from them. The stories of survival are varied and fascinating.

At the same time we humbly remember those with this disease who were less fortunate.

All the survivors here have voluntarily agreed to have their photos and stories published and we have gone over this in detail with them. No names of the survivors will be published.

None of the photos have been photoshopped and these are not professional shots, in keeping with what I perceive to be the “selfie culture.” Some are spontaneous and some are well….there is great variety in the selfie skills on display here!

As a onetime English teacher with some editing skills, I have tried to limit my editing to preserve the survivor’s voice and words in their purest form. In some cases I have done my best to ask leading questions to prompt their thinking and writing. I will say a few words of introduction for each of these entries and will then leave the survivors to express themselves in their own words.

Many thanks to the survivors themselves for taking the time to do this and we hope that this exercise was meaningful for them. We would also like to thank Michele Ippolito (who heads this project and who appears in many of the photos) and members of my staff for working on this and we would like to thank Melanie Acuna for all her contributions.