Christine Morse is a breast cancer survivor and a collaborator on the Pink Owl Project, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Here is the story of Christine and the Pink Owl Project
Tell me about your journey that connected you to the Pink Owl Project.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2011. It was a devastating diagnosis. I was the first person in my family to have cancer. After searching and failing to find a support group, I found the Young Breast Cancer Survivors’ Group of Southwest Michigan when a mutual friend introduced me to Jennifer Reivett, the leader of the group. Jennifer dreamed up the idea for the Pink Owl Project, which is a photography and essay exhibit detailing the experience of breast cancer through the eyes of our Young Survivors Group. She contacted several local photographers who were willing to donate their time and talent. We asked that survivors contribute essays on a variety of issues that arise when living with breast cancer. Our efforts paid off when we staged our first show at the Park Trades Center during Art Hop November 2012.
What is the mission of the Pink Owl Project
The mission of the Pink Owl Project is to spread awareness and understanding of young breast cancer survivors. Our motto is “Wounds to Wisdom.”
It is our hope that in reading these essays and seeing these images, we can demystify the reality of living with cancer, while reminding young women and men that they need to be their own medical advocates and know their bodies, because breast cancer does strike the young. It has also helped the survivors who participated to see themselves as strong and beautiful, even with the scars. In spreading awareness and understanding, we reclaim the control over our lives that cancer once took from us.
Where has the Pink Owl Project Featured and are there future exhibits coming in 2015?
As mentioned above, the Pink Owl Project was featured at the Park Trades Center in Kalamazoo during Art Hop in November 2012, December 2012 and January 2013. We held a fundraiser At Bell’s Brewery in October 2014 which featured the Project as well as musical performances and a raffle. We had over 100 attend, it was a fantastic night! In October 2014, I also attended a Cancer Survivorship Forum where I displayed some or our collection and spoke about The Pink Owl Project. We hope to return to Bell’s for another event in October. We are open to requests to display the Project in other venues.
How can I get involved in supporting the Pink Owl Project?
You can contact us via our facebook page or our website, www.pinkowlproject.com. We do have an account set up for donations, however currently they are not tax deductible. We are currently working to achieve 501(c)(3) status.
Can you share a quote that deeply inspires your work:
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”