Thursday, October 18, 2012

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be Just Like Evan

One of the final photographs I took for Dancers Among Us is, to me, the most inspiring. 

While in college, Evan Ruggiero lost his leg to bone cancer after five surgeries, and he spent sixteen months in chemotherapy once the cancer spread to his lungs- a two year ordeal that could have left him angry and depressed. Instead, he picked up right where he left off! Evan had been a tap dancer since he was five, and he took it up again immediately after finishing chemo. Videos of him tapping went viral, and his aunt contacted me about photographing him. 

We met outside Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center after one of his many check-ups. He immediately impressed me as a dynamic, thoughtful, down-to-earth young man with a great sense of humor. He attempted twenty-two jumps, and I still have no idea how he landed safely every time. But he did. And I know he will. 

Evan will be attending the Dancers Among Us launch party next Tuesday, where I'm sure he will receive an overwhelmingly warm reception. If we're very nice, he may even do some tap dancing for us!