SHE (“Ella” in Spanish version)
In January 2011 I decided to start this photo essay with no deadline. Little did I know of a disease like leukemia, and even less in children, where time seems to run faster, and precautions are higher. But as I spent time with family, I realized that it was not the disease itself I wanted to photograph, but a love story.
Laura and Luis are the parents of Delfina. Just learning the task of being new parents, they had to readjust quickly to learn everything about a disease that threatened to take their daughter. They did so with the highest possible integrity, educating, questioning and following step by step all the instructions of doctors. As they had to continue with the task of parenting Delfina, they had to explain why they were practically moving into a hospital, why she couldn’t spend any time with other children, and why couldn’t she carry her toys, which in medical terms, they are major carriers of potential viruses.
Love manifested soon enough. Families, friends, everyone wanted to know how to help, from economically, to do laundry, take care of house cleaning, or to simply relieve them to go out for coffee.
The treatment is long, at least 5 years before finally being discharged. But the biggest concern of the parents is the effect this will have on the personal growth of Delfina. As it builds up her character, her growth without having contact with other children her age, what is the vision of her own reality.
Photographing is sometimes very difficult because I have to keep the time of admission, and if she gets sick with a hospital virus, only parents are allowed. It is also a personal quest to grow as a photographer and seek new approaches when the "scene" is bounded to 4 walls and becomes a routine. But is within this routine that I went through heartfelt moments… from laughs to a cry.
She is Delfina. In February 2011 turned 2 years old and celebrated it 2 times. Not because of a whim but because her visits have to be divided to minimize the risk of any disease that can put her back in the hospital. Eight months ago she entered the hospital and was diagnosed with leukemia. Words such as catheter, chemotherapy and blood tests, can be explained by her and point out better than anyone. Her life these days happens between the walls of a hospital. They understand that it is an extensive treatment and they still have a long way to go. Meanwhile, she plays, sings, dances, cry.... remains being a child.
This work, is a work in progress.