by Sarah Hoffman
They missed it. She had an eight-pound tumor on her kidney and they missed it. Shelia Burnett of New Franklin, Mo. was diagnosed with stage IV Renal cell carcinoma in May of 2011. Recently her cancer reoccurred in her liver and is no longer curable. Burnett is preparing her family for her death. “There’s a lot of times I ask myself why am I having to go through this? I don’t know why I am going through this other than making my daughter a stronger person.” said Burnett. Burnett’s daughter Lauren Burnett, 17, has stepped up to help her mother with chores at home and at their family business Boggs Auto Salvage and Sale.
According to a study by Kathryn E. Weaver, assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, rural cancer survivors reported more psychological distress, were more likely to be in fair or poor heath and unable to work because of a health condition than urban cancer survivors.
Burnett fears burdening her family with her emotion and she wishes there were more resources and support groups for people living in rural areas. “That’s part of a rural community we don’t have the resources a big city would have so you learn to use your family.”
Long before diabetes hit the headlines, it hit home for me. Diabetes runs in my family. My uncle never really acknowledged his diabetes or tried to manage it. Diagnosed in his early 20′s, Richard Esparza later died, age 42, due to complications related to his type 2 diabetes. Years later, in 2006 my sister would also become a diabetic.
Diet and exercise are often the first recommendations made by doctors to their diabetic patients. Such a simple solution though is easier said than done. For many it requires a dramatic lifestyle change. Today, diabetes has reached epidemic proportions, with minority groups making up the largest portion of the newly diagnosed.
I have seen those I love s truggle to accept and manage this lifelong disease. My goal was to put a face to the statistics. This project documents the life of one young man, Demarko Fisher, who lives with Type 2 diabetes.
To see more of Vivian’s work, go to her Web site: www.vivianesparza.com
I came to produce this video after finding out about two very close friends of mine who had been affected by sexual violence within the last few years. The information turned my world upside down as I felt ignorantly naïve to the issue. After interviewing an amazing photo subject for a different project I learned that she too had been raped. After leaving the interview I passed the place where one friend had been staying, then passed by the other friend’s apartment. All three women were within a ¼ mile of each other. Immediately the skills my photojournalism degree has taught me were summoned. This project is the result.
*CLICK ON PICTURE ON LEFT TO LAUNCH MULTIMEDIA PROJECTBy Amy Rymer
Ana Maria sends half of her salary to El Salvador each month to provide for her family. After nearly three years in the U.S., Ana Maria doesn’t have savings, but now that she has paid off the debt for her travel to the U.S., she is planning for the future–with multiple options. After her husband died in a car accident ten years ago, Ana Maria took over his business in one of San Salvador’s two biggest markets, called San Jacinto.
Five years later, two supermarkets were built around the market. After trying to compete with their lower prices for two and a half years, Ana Maria couldn’t provide for her family any longer and decided to move to the United States for work.
Ana Maria’s travel to the U.S. not only cost herself monetarily, but it also affected her family. Her sister, Milagro, who raises her son Carlos, gave her own land as collateral for the loan that paid for Ana Maria to go to the U.S.
Ana Maria had to pay back a total of $12,000 to a coyote in El Salvador who loaned her the money. The average cost for someone to go to the U.S. illegally from El Salvador is $2,000 – $8,000*. Ana Maria paid more because when she realized she was in a scam, she had to convince multiple coyotes to take her the rest of the way. A trip that can last as short as a few days took Ana Maria two months.
*UNDP El Salvador Human Development Report 2005
Rymer produced this mixed media presentation in the United States and El Salvador as part of her Master’s Project at the University of Missouri.
To see more of Rymer’s work, visit her Web site: amyrymer.com.
Angela and Rob had two beautiful kids, a steady income and a house in the suburbs when they realized – they may be living the American dream, but it wasn’t their dream. Without a concrete plan and only their instincts and values as a guide, they sold the house in the subdivision and bought a neglected farm.
To see more of Anthony Castellano’s work, go to his Web site: www.anthonycastellano.com
For over 60 years the Missouri Photo Workshop strives to teach the core principles behind visual storytelling to photojournalists. During the 60th Missouri Photo Workshop in St. James, Missouri, we gathered the stellar faculty of industry professionals to ask them all the same question that lies at the heart of what the Workshop tries to teach, “What is the Story?” Watch this video to see their take on the heart of what does–and does not–make good visual storytelling.