Patients and carers put their cancer journeys on to film and canvas

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 02 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:937
  1. Annabel Ferriman
  1. BMJ

    Anne Wilson, whose photograph (below, top) portrays her daughter Katherine, who died of cancer at the age of 28, is one of the finalists in an art competition called Expressions of a Cancer Journey, organised by the pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly. The photo shows Katherine with her father, John, who shaved his head in sympathy with her.

    Embedded Image

    Embedded Image

    Winners of the competition, which attracted more than 2000 entries from 43 countries, were announced this week at the Royal College of Art in London. Their pictures are on show at the college until 6 November.

    Contestants included people with cancer, their family and friends, carers, and health professionals.

    Mrs Wilson, whose photograph is called This is not a Dress Rehearsal, said, “Our precious daughter felt strongly about these words from an early age. It was as if she knew something the rest of us did not know.

    “When Katherine was diagnosed at age 23 as having small cell lung cancer, she continued to remember these words. Through almost five years of radiation and chemotherapy for six recurrences, Katherine continued making the best of every moment possible… all the while taking one class at a time as she worked to achieve her goal of graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.

    “Katherine graduated in May 2004, a few months before she lost her courageous battle. She knew this was not the dress rehearsal.”

    Another finalist was Latifa Charpentier from France, who painted the watercolour Spicy Nude (below, bottom).

    View Abstract

    Sign in

    Log in through your institution

    Free trial

    Register for a free trial to to receive unlimited access to all content on for 14 days.
    Sign up for a free trial