When you’re standing before family and friends and annunciate those vows on your wedding day, it’s hard to imagine the extent to which — and exactly when — you just might have to eventually literally stand by your partner “in sickness.”
That he would do it if it ever came to pass was never in question, but Angelo Merendino certainly never thought it would be just five months after saying “I do” to his wife Jennifer. But that’s when she found out she had breast cancer. It was a battle they didn’t choose, but it was one they faced together, every painful step of the way.
“I remember the exact moment [she was diagnosed],” Angelo said. “Jen’s voice and the numb feeling that enveloped me. That feeling has never left. I’ll also never forget how we looked into each other’s eyes and held each other’s hands. “We are together, we’ll be ok.”
And they were, but she wasn’t. Four years later, Jen was gone.
The journey wasn’t just physically painful for Jen and emotionally heart-wrenching for both of them. Part of the process was struggling to get people to understand their “day-to-day life and the difficulties [they] faced” — fear, anxiety and insurance company battles, to name a few.
Angelo, a photographer, documented their entire journey with Jen’s disease with his camera.
“[The photos] humanize the face of cancer, on the face of my wife,” he said. “They show the challenge, difficulty, fear, sadness and loneliness that we faced, that Jennifer faced, as she battled this disease. Most important of all, they show our Love. These photographs do not define us, but they are us.”
Take a look at some of their photos, which tell their difficult, emotional, and beautiful story, and then some:
For more of Angelo’s moving photos, visit MyWifesFightWithBreastCancer.com
All images used with permission from Angelo Merendino
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