Late February 2017, I was working on the 2017 Breast Cancer Awareness project with a friend of mine, cancer free yoga instructor and mostly a very active member of the community , and I was also looking for other cancer survivors or people that are struggling with cancer to take their portrait, so she recommended me Toni Bruno Fukuda.
I was mostly interested in taking portraits to define cancer and its effects on those suffering from it, on their families and friends.
Once i knew that she was fighting a stage 4 breast cancer that has spread all over her body, all the plans changed, i was no longer interested on just taking her portrait but i felt that i owed her more than a portrait, so i asked if i can record and document her life and her struggle with the big C.
And there, a portrait turned into a much bigger project.......
I started taking her to chemo session on Wednesdays, we start by the lab than we go to the doctor's office before we go to the infusion suite, where we made sure we sit by the window -we called it Room with a View- and there i set my camera and start the recording, no staging, all raw with noise in the background, sounds of nurses and beeping machines. Every session we talked about different stages of her life, and i used to visit her on Saturday at home for more recording. It was a perfect time for me to make portraits of her under different circumstances, moods, joy, pain.....
I remember the first time we met - i was not recording obviously - and she told me about her last wish : The last show.
She used to curate art shows and since John theurer cancer Center cared for her for the last 7 years and treated her like if she was their only patient which allowed her to see her kids growing into successful students, she has the intention to curate an art show to raise money for cancer cure research, it was her way of giving back to society.
Our first recording session was on March 1st 2017, Toni passed October 6th 2017 and the show was on October 7th