Love stories always give us beautiful feelings, tenderness, sentimentality, joy, but sometimes sadness too. One of the most surprising love stories is about a young married couple, but who went through extremely difficult moments and the end was a tragic one.
It is about the photographer Angelo Merendino and his wife, Jen, diagnosed with breast cancer only five months after they got married. The nightmare started from here. However, in all this story, Angelo proved he had an unimaginable fortitude. Nevertheless, he says that he would never forget Jen’s voice on the phone when she gave him the bad news, that she had cancer. “As our life became more complicated our focus became simple – Survive.” he says. After a while scan revealed that the cancer had metastasized to her liver and bone.
In the desire of making people aware of what this particular disease means, he photographed his wife in all the stages of the disease, depicting all the transformations and the acerbic struggle his wife had with cancer. He titled his project “The Battle We Didn’t Choose. My Wife’s Fight with Breast Cancer”. Angelo remembers how it all begin. Because “words were failing” he turned to the form of communication he knew best – the camera. With Jen’s approval he posted the story on the internet and the responses they got were incredible, it even helped other sick people: “We began to receive emails from all over the world. Some of these emails came from women who had breast cancer. They were inspired by Jennifer’s grace and courage. One woman shared that, because of Jen, she confronted her fears and scheduled a mammogram. That’s when we knew our story could help others.”
Although Jen had a double operation of mastectomy and she went through chemotherapy, she couldn’t be saved and eventually she died. To honor her, Angelo started a non-profit organization, “The Love You Share” whose missions is “to provide financial assistance to women in need while they are receiving treatment for breast cancer.” The husband of the deceased confesses that he “cannot think of a better way to honor Jennifer’s legacy than by helping others”.