Circle of Care exhibition provides intimate look at cancer

Circle of Care, the Wilton-based nonprofit that provides comprehensive peer support to families of children with cancer, is taking its message around the state. A traveling exhibition, “There Is … Life Within The Journey,” will open Thursday, April 30, 6 p.m., at New Canaan’s Sorelle Gallery. New Canaan resident and former Circle of Care board member Jeanna Shepard conceived the photojournalistic show and served as its photographer.
The exhibition offers an emotional and intimate look at children with cancer and the characteristics that comprise the journey through treatment.
“So much of what we see about pediatric cancer doesn’t tell the real story,” said Liz Salguero, Circle of Care’s co-founder and board president. “Children are more than their cancer, and their journey through treatment is about more than IV poles and chemotherapy. There are so many assumptions and a great deal of confusion about pediatric cancer. This exhibit beautifully illuminates the life within the journey and changes the narrative around pediatric cancer to highlight the strength and character of each child.
“Childhood cancer can be an isolating experience. We hope through this exhibit that we can break down the barriers and enable the community to come closer to these children and families who need our support and care.”
“These images provide an opportunity for people to look past the cancer, and into the children for who they are as they go through this journey,” added Shepard. “Children are wonderful to photograph because they open themselves emotionally and by shooting these images in the hospital where the children receive treatment, we were able to capture a very intimate look at pediatric cancer.”
The portraits will remain on view through Sunday, May 3. Circle of Care plans to bring the exhibition to at least nine  communities throughout the state over the course of the next year, primarily in public galleries.
Assisting with bringing the show to life were Wilton residents Christine Baer, a Circle of Care board member, volunteers Ashley Kineon and Lisa Schneider, and Jeff Salguero as well as New Canaan resident and photographer Christine Simmons.
Photographic Solutions in Norwalk provided the portrait prints, and Rockwell Art and Framing in New Canaan the framing.
The children featured all receive treatment at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital.