Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital and Pablove Foundation Present Inspiring Gallery Show by Young Cancer Patients

May 26, 2015 01:49 PM
Photography student Ahtziri Garcia, age 12 of Garfield, New Jersey created a photo during a workshop for young cancer patients treated at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center.

On June 5, graduates of the Pablove Foundation’s Pablove Shutterbugs photography programat the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center will display their works of art in a gallery show at Bergen Community College from 5 to 7 p.m.


                Through a grant secured by the HackensackUMC Foundation from the LIVESTRONG Foundation, 15 students, ranging in age from six to 20 years old, participated in Pablove Foundation’s Pablove Shutterbug Photography Program.  The five week workshop series teaches young people living with cancer to find their creative voice through the art of photography.  The photography students meet once a week for two hours each session in a sun-filled art studio to express their unique perspective through the lens of a camera.  The workshops are offered in the fall and spring in a donated space at Bergen Community College.  The program culminates with a gallery exhibition of the artwork that is created during these workshops.           


                “Viewing the photographs framed and on display can affirm our patients’ sense of individual pride and enable them to share their personal vision with others,” said Ellen Goldring, section chief of Child Life/Creative Arts Therapy at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at HackensackUMC. “Natural bonds are likely to form by virtue of the participants’ shared experience.  Some are in active treatment. Some have been off treatment for quite some time.”


Working with one photography teacher and three teaching assistants, each participant is given a digital camera to keep as their own, along with instruction on photography techniques, lighting, and portraiture. The young artists also have the opportunity to work outdoors, capturing the foliage on the Bergen Community College campus in the fall and spring.

“The class was awesome,” said Ahtziri Garcia, age 12 of Garfield. “I initially took the class to get my mind off some things and to complete a dream to learn how to take good photographs.  The class taught me a lot of skills and has made me take a closer look at things. I actually see things differently now because of the class. I am grateful for the opportunity.”


The Los Angeles-based Pablove Foundation is dedicated to investing in underfunded, cutting-edge pediatric cancer research, inspiring cancer families through education and improving the lives of children with cancer through the arts. The Pablove Shutterbugs program has been implemented in cities across the country. The LIVESTRONG Foundation looks at the experiences of the cancer community, finds problems and develops solutions. It finds new ways to raise awareness, increase outreach, and facilitate collaboration in an effort to improve the lives of people with cancer.


Established in 1980 as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the HackensackUMC Foundation raises funds that support the diverse programs and services which benefit patients at the medical center.  The Foundation accepts contributions in the form of direct cash gifts and pledges, matching corporate gifts, planned gifts and gifts-in-kind.  For more information on ways to donate or upcoming events, please call 551-996-3720 or visit

Photo:  Photography student Ahtziri Garcia, age 12  of Garfield, New Jersey created a photo during a workshop for young cancer patients treated at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center. The HackensackUMC Foundation secured a grant from the LIVESTRONG Foundation to fund the Pablove Foundation’s Pablove Shutterbugs Photography Program, a workshop series in a space donated by Bergen Community College that teaches young people living with cancer to find their creative voice through the art of photography.

About Hackensack University Medical Center

HackensackUMC, a nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state comprised of 11,300 employees, 3,100 credentialed medical staff members and 1,697 hospital and nursing home beds.  HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospital rankings for 2014-15. It is one of the top 30 hospitals in the nation by receiving 11 national specialty rankings, including a national ranking for the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Neurology and Neurosurgery in the 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospitals. The children’s hospital is housed with the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital in the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center, and was included on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is one of Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals™ for nine years in a row, and received the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 13 years in a row. The medical center has also been named a Leapfrog Top Hospital, and received 23 Gold Seals of Approval™ by the Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and was Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament and the NY/NJ Super Bowl XLVIII Host Committee. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit:   




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