José A. Alvarado Jr.

Photographer
 
You Don't Look Sick
Location: New York City, New York
Nationality: Puerto Rican American
Biography: José A. Alvarado Jr. is a Puerto Rican photographer dedicated to documenting class inequality, civic engagement, and contemporary issues in Puerto Rico and New York City. He works primarily in long-form storytelling, using visual imagery... MORE
Public Story
You Don't Look Sick
Copyright José A. Alvarado Jr. 2024
Date of Work Feb 2016 - Ongoing
Updated Dec 2020
Location Bronx
Topics Disability, Documentary, Family, Fear, Health/Healing, Loss, Love, multiple sclerosis, Photography, Portraiture


You Don't Look Sick
What are your experiences after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in your twenties during the peak of your social life? How do you begin to live your new life in a body that is familiar and yours, but now feels foreign? 

Alvarado’s photographs document Robert Sanganoo’s daily life and adversities living with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis over the course of two years. At a time when most adults in their twenties are pursuing a career and meeting significant people, Robert takes his days at a pace unimaginable to the normal person. From physical therapy to at-home workouts, Robert wants to no longer just survive this disease. Having navigated a significant distance from the day he was first diagnosed, this positive direction comes at a time when our state of government in regards to health care may look to hinder the lives of our sick. Unable to work due to his body’s condition, Robert is dependent on the health care our government supplies, with a rift to it bringing serious repercussions for him and his progression towards a productive life. This essay will be his first time openly speaking about his battle with anyone outside the family and people sharing the same fight. With the purpose to open more conversations about this disease and to continue finding a cure.

Featured on Prospect Studios.

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