Many Faces of Cancer, A Photo Essay

October 30, 2016
By: Jared Lazarus, Duke Photography

Two years ago, I began a journey to show some of the faces and voices of Duke Cancer Institute patients and survivors, to give hope and inspiration to those battling the disease.

I photographed and interviewed 14 brave men, women, and children in their own environments doing what they love.

Unexpectedly, all these people have given me courage, especially last summer, when a large tumor was discovered in my 12-year-old daughter’s abdomen. (The tumor was found to be benign, though not before it crushed her ovary.)

So after taking an extra few minutes to hug and talk to my younger daughter about her day and the new Supergirl episode on TV that night, I pull up a photo of Stephanie Lipscomb (above), the young woman who volunteered to be the  first patient to receive an injection of an experimental poliovirus therapy to treat her brain tumor. I tell my daughter, “Now this is a real-life superhero.”

Lazarus donated his time to this project. The Duke Cancer Patient Support Program plans to display the portraits and accompanying audio in the Duke Cancer Center in the near future.

Circle photo (top): Jaime Sanz, 51, Clayton, North Carolina, has colon cancer that has spread to his liver, abdomen, and lymph nodes. He was photographed at home playing with his baby daughter, Andrea.

Meet the Survivors

Johnny Alston

Melissa Culbreth

Eve Griffith

Stephanie Lipscomb

Bob Norris

Jaime Sainz

Layla Smith

Online-only extras

Stephen Albright

Julie Cardillo

Lori Elliott 

Narciscus Key

Gerald Madren

Saeideh Razmkhah

Luningning Robb