You guys, I have some absolutely amazing friends. When one of them was visiting this summer, he mentioned this neat project he was about to embark on. And to watch it grow and form and materialize… y’all, it’s incredible what good-hearted people can do. Exposing Hope deserves so much more than just this post!
Let me (re)introduce you to Robert Chou, my favorite photographer and childhood-turned-adulthood friend. Robert is from Greensboro and is incredibly talented in so many ways. He is a master at the camera – my favorite style pictures taken for this blog to date are his work! He is 10 times more stylish than I am. And he has a heart of gold that so truly wants to pull out and bring to light the best in others. He does all this for the glory of the Lord.
Robert has worked with Earlier.org for quite some time now, and has the pleasure of getting to organize this event for them. His grandmother is a breat cancer survivor so this specific cause is near and dear to his heart, as I’m sure it is to many of ours! While most events are aimed at raising awareness and funds for different causes, this one has a different target: to boast in the glory of surviving. It’s main purpose is to do just that – celebrate those who have fought and who have won.
Above is Martha Kaley, the founder, with her two granddaughters.
While this event offers heavy or d’ouerves, spirits, and the chance to participate in a silent auction, 100% of the proceeds go directly to Earlier.org. This foundation advocates for exactly what its name says – an earlier way to detect breast cancer. By means of as many funds as possible and as many resources as possible, that is their sole focus. Breast cancer can be in the body for 5-8 years before current testing can detect it. Earlier.org expresses itself as a project, not an organization. The funding they raise goes to innovative and promising research paths, hoping to provide a solution. To date, over 103 projects have received funding.
Prior to this event, Robert has spent time getting to know and photographing each of 37 survivors on their own. These photographs all follow a similar suit in that they are simple in the simplist form – they each feature the survivor in white against a white backdrop. This allows the surviver to take center stage, to receive the spotlight they deserve. They also allow the uniqueness of each survivor to shine through – by wearing white, you focus on the person rather than the clothing.
Breast cancer, any kind of cancer, is a nightmare. To have faced it and come out on the other side? That is a reason to rejoice. What better way to support a need so great than to celebrate the exact kind of people who intimately know the extent of that need.
I asked Robert why he named it Exposing Hope, but I can’t do his explanation justice. I’m going to use his words rather than my own:
“Hope like the “pink wash” that is incorperated into the Exposing Hope logo can not be contained inside of a box. The wash is not perfect but still it is beautiful. This wash represents that not everyones journey is the same or perfect but there is beauty in your story. In the photography realm, exposing is key. Exposing Hope through these hope portraits has allowed me to expose each survivor’s story through my lens.”
There’s a way you can donate without going to the event, but if you are a Greensboro native, it’s a great opportunity! Head to this link to find out more!