In 2009, while visiting family in Tulsa, Oklahoma, my Aunt Loretta shared with me the polaroid diary of her Son, John Ruggeri. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1992 and received radition, chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. The donor was his sister, Laura.

Before the internet was what it is, John kept a polaroid diary of his treatment. Sadly John did not survive his ordeal. This photographic documentation is the record of his fight. I can only speculate John's intentions, but speaking for mysef the psychology of cancer impacts the personal in ways you can never understand, turning the disease from an individual discord into a public display of survivorship. The diary/blog becomes a component of communication necessary for understanding one's walk through illness. True to my own experience, empowerment of this disease through the still image fosters hope, a personal voice, a place to hold onto your life and memories and somehow makes walking through treatment a validation to all that we are and all that we will become.

I share with you John's images. My Cousin. Familia. This archive is for you, John.