BIRMINGHAM, Ala--In 1994, the Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of Alabama at Birmingham commissioned photojournalist Melissa Springer to create an exhibit celebrating breast cancer survivors. Her finished project has now been published as A Tribe of Warrior Women.
The book is intended to promote national awareness that breast cancer is a treatable disease fought best by early detection and treatment; to pay tribute to all women who have fought so courageously against breast cancer; and to inspire hope in newly diagnosed women.
With that mission in mind, each of the 32 breast cancer survivors profiled in the book was asked to give some words of comfort to newly diagnosed women.
Bessie McClinton, featured on the book's cover (see illustration above), responded, "Wherever you're going, wherever you've been, I've already been there," and many others picked up on that theme, with messages such as, "Fight like hell and know that you're not alone," "Find a support group," and "I was in your shoes years ago. I fought and won."
Other women stressed the importance of treatment: "Get a good doctor and a good hospital." "Understand the treatment options. Make an informed decision." "Don't let fear paralyze you."
The book is available from Crane Hill Publishers. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama.