Young Cancer Patients Develop Creative Expression through Photography

November 4, 2014 10:28 AM
Erine_Barone
Photography student Erin Barone, 19, of Wallington captured in a self-portrait she created during a workshop for young cancer patients treated at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at HackensackUMC.
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They gather with a shared history and a depth beyond their years. Pediatric cancer patients treated at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center meet once a week in a sun-filled art studio to express their unique perspective through the lens of a camera.

The HackensackUMC Foundation secured a grant from the LIVESTRONG Foundation to fund the Pablove Foundation’s Pablove Shutterbugs Photography Program, a workshop series that teaches young people living with cancer to find their creative voice through the art of photography. 

Ten patients, ranging in age from eight to 22 years old, registered for the weekly two-hour workshops during the course of a five week program, which began this fall in a donated space at Bergen Community College.  A second session will be offered in the spring. Programs culminate with a gallery exhibition of the art work that is created during these workshops.

“Whenever we create art, it bears our signature and reflects who we are and how we see the world,” said Ellen Goldring, section chief of Child Life/Creative Arts Therapy at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at HackensackUMC. “Having cancer changes your perspective. For some, that can be isolating because they see things with a certain depth that their peers may not have experienced.”           

Goldring says she expects natural bonds 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.

“This class has improved my photography skills and helped me make more friends,” said Erin Barone, 19, of Wallington. “My photos show how I see the world from a different view.”

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 to 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 naming opportunities.  For more information on upcoming events or ways to donate, please call 551-996-3720 or visit HackensackUMCFoundation.org.

Photo:

Photography student Erin Barone, 19, of Wallington captured in a self-portrait along with another photo she created 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 1,250 beds, nearly 10,000 employees and 2,700 credentialed physicians. 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 among Healthgrades® America’s Best 100 Hospitals in five different areas, is one of Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals™ for eight years in a row, and received the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 12 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 XLV111 Host Committee. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit: www.HackensackUMC.org.   

 

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