Photo Courtesy of Angelo Merendino
Written by Loren Grush for Fox News
In one photograph, Jennifer Merendino is smiling to herself as she walks down a New York City street, her long dark hair blowing in the wind.
In another, she sits in a hospital bed, hooked up to an IV – her head shaved as she grimaces in intense pain.
The images are just two in a series of photographs taken of Jennifer from 2010 to 2011, which depict her struggle with metastatic breast cancer. The series, titled “The Battle We Didn’t Choose,” was created by her husband Angelo Merendino, as he attempted to show their family and friends the difficulties he and his wife dealt with on a daily basis.
“We felt our family and friends didn’t understand how serious things had become,” 39-year-old Merendino, who lives in New York City, told FoxNews.com.
“I started making these photos, because we felt people needed to see,” he said. “The words weren’t working.”
The photos show Jennifer throughout her cancer treatment, from shaving her head in the bathroom to using a walker to go for a simple walk outdoors. The photos are both intricately beautiful and utterly tragic, with the last photo depicting the heartbreaking end to the story: Jennifer’s gravestone after she passed away on December 22, 2011.
Yet, one ending to a devastating tale has now sparked a completely new beginning full of hope. What started as a photo project to garner much needed support from the family has now turned into a viral sensation that has captivated people across the world. Merendino’s Facebook page, “My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer” has gained more than 41,000 Likes, and his photos of Jennifer have been shared by numerous web sites and news outlets around the globe.
For Merendino, the response to his photos has been heartwarming and ultimately therapeutic after the passing of his wife.
“There’s a lot in the world that’s negative, and even though Jen passed, I’m happy we could put something out there that’s about love and life,” Merendino said. “These photos aren’t just about cancer, they’re about living life.”
‘Like a movie’