My first photo taken by a professional photographer. I am around 1 year old when this photo was taken, and life had only just begun.
First grade. Such an important day in our lives. I remember I was so excited to finally begin going to school.
Me and my kids enjoying the water during one of our family holidays to Swedens West coast.
I have celebrated many midsummers in Myrensjö Hembygsgård. The folk costume I am wearing I have sewn myself. I have also sewn an identical costume for my daughter. Wearing it together makes me very proud.
I love spending time in the garden, here holding two big rhubarbs. This image was taken right before I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
I celebrated my 70th birthday in Kleva Mine in Småland. The mine has existed since the 18th century and is one of my favorite places. I had all my friends and family by my side and it truly was a memorable moment.
This photo was taken during my first dialysis. I wanted to capture this moment and took this photo myself.
I have always been very interested and curious about our nature.
A passion of mine is what we in Sweden call «värdeträd». These are trees that are important for the biodiversity. Since 2006 I have worked for the municipality to find these trees. Unfortunately I had to stop doing this when I got ill and the pandemic hit. But I love these trees and hope I can get back out there in the future.
Going for walks is therapy for your body and soul. This photo is from one of my many walks looking for «värdeträr». I came across this big hollow tree and thought it was so beautifu with the light hitting the branches.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, which are types of white blood cells found in the bone marrow. In multiple myeloma cancerous plasma cells grow uncontrollably and crowd out the normal plasma cells in the bone marrow.
Myeloma affects parts of the body where bone marrow is normally active in an adult, such as in the bones of the spine, skull, pelvis, the rib cage, long bones of the arms and legs and the areas around the shoulders and hips. The most common symptoms of myeloma include bone pain, recurring infections, kidney damage and fatigue.
Myeloma is mainly diagnosed around the age of 70, and one third of the patients are younger (under the age of 40 is rare).
Around 2 000 people are diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma every year in the Nordic countries2. Although myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer, it only represents 1% of all cancers.
There is currently no cure for Multiple myeloma, but with access to available treatments people living with multiple Myeloma can be in a remission for a long time with a good quality of life.
Danckert B, Ferlay J, Engholm G, Hansen HL, Johannesen TB, Khan S, Køtlum JE, Ólafsdóttir E, Schmidt LKH, Virtanen A and Storm HH. NORDCAN: Cancer Incidence, Mortality, Prevalence and Survival in the Nordic Countries, Version 8.2 (26.03.2019). Association of the Nordic Cancer Registries. Danish Cancer Society. Available from http://www.ancr.nu, accessed on 24/11/2021.
Multiple Moments to Live For – Curator’s words
In mid-December 2020 I was asked to curate the exhibition Multiple Moments to Live For. Little did I know that later this month I would lose my father to Multiple Myeloma. It was a terribly sad and hard time for me and my family. I had absolutely no knowledge about bone marrow cancer, and I had no idea that it was this specific disease my father was suffering from.
As a photographer, I am used to either working with a curator or curating my own exhibitions. For this project I have worked on putting together an exhibition consisting of other people’s personal family photos. This has become quite a personal task. Telling the stories of other people’s life, including my own father.
Photography has been my life ever since I started working as a photo assistant in Bergen in 1986. 35 years have passed by since then. This project has been different than anything else I have previously done. It has been very exciting, but yet challenging to be in charge of putting together a combination of photographs and texts that in some way shall make up someone’s life. Of course, a selection of photographs will never tell a person’s full story, but I have tried together with the different people living with myeloma, to select the images that in the best way possible represent important moments in their life - for better or worse.
The photographs in this exhibition are collected from family albums, mobile cameras and from digital or analog cameras. All taken with different knowledge about photography. The image quality is insignificant. What is common for all these photographs is that they mean a lot to those who have photographed. These pictures tell us about a lived life. A life about family, love, work, hobbies including some of the challenging times in-between.
Because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is important is how we face these challenges. In this project I have met brave people who have continued with their lives and kept their spirits up despite great adversity and pain. By curating this exhibition, it is my wish that more people become aware of the diagnose multiple myeloma. I hope that I have selected photographs that both participants, their families and people living with multiple myeloma can be proud of.
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