Caruso Sethi, an accomplished writer and producer, dreamed of penning a book
of memoirs. But the recurrence of a rare and deadly form of breast cancer
intervened and, instead,“Josie”
turned to sharing the personal stories of the 79 men and women who journeyed
through breast cancer treatment with her.
Through memorable black
and white photographs, “The Faces behind
Breast Cancer,” celebrates for the first time the stories of “everyday”
patients – people Josie befriended while undergoingtreatment at The University of Texas M.
D. Anderson Cancer Center. They’re vulnerable and they’re heroic – and
there’s nothing “everyday” about them.
Award-winning commercial and
fashion photographer Jack Opatrany donated his time, studio spaceand considerable talents to capture the
patients in varying stages of treatment, recovery and remission.MAC-trained freelance professional
make-up artist Athena Laster contributed her time, resources andartistic skills to readying each patient
for their individual shoots.
Because Josie's disease is non-curable, and
because she knew that some of the participants would not live long enough
to see the final product, it was her decision to self-publish and accelerate the
completion of the book as a legacy to her family and as a gift to the cancer
community. Josie's mission is to raise awareness of the effects that breast
cancer has on
image and self esteem, as well as give hope and inspiration to those in
“When the breasts are altered or damaged by treatment, the mirror
becomes the enemy. Many patients feel embarrassed, angry and/or obsessed.
It can also upset interpersonal relationships and lead to isolation and
depression. I want this book to be hopeful, to inspire others to regain
their self-confidence and improve their emotional well-being, while
learning to accept the physical changes their bodies undergo during treatment,"
On August 26th, all of the patients featured in “The Faces
behind Breast Cancer,” and who were well enough to attend, helped celebrate the
book's publication at a brunch in Houston. This was an excellent opportunity
to meet Josie, Jack, Athena and the
diverse cross-section of participants in the book, who brought her vision to
life and also keenly illustrate that breast cancer does not discriminate by
race, age or gender.
book is available online at www.pinkcrusader.org. We can provide a sample/preview copy of the book in print or
digital form. Net proceeds from sales of the book will be directed to fund
programs and research at M. D.
Anderson Cancer Center.
As John Mendelsohn, M.D.,
D. Anderson Cancer Center, wrote in the book's foreword,
"Not only has [Josie] created a
phenomenal tribute, but, as testament to her compassionate nature, she has made 79 friends
in the process. The pages in this book are not just stories – they
representlives, and Josie has
truly shown the beauty of those lives as each person travels his or her breast
Please contact Robyn Stein at
(212) 220-4444 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more
information, or to coordinate
an interview with Josie.
PHOTOGRAPHER: JACK OPATRANY MAKE UP: ATHENA LASTER COPYRIGHT: 2006