From 5 South /
Oncology: Photographs from Children's Hospital Oakland
Aubrey M. and her
"Aubrey and her
mom would pretend that Aubrey was a nurse and
she would put on her play stethoscope. Nurses
always have their page of notes folded up, and
usually stick them in their back pockets. One
day I couldn't find my notes. I finally saw them
folded up and stuck in the back of Aubrey's
Tanya and her Mom
"Tanya was nearing the end of her life; in her
usual outspoken manner she said to me, 'I can't
wait until you die, Dr. V.' Stunned, I asked her
why. 'Because I want to see you and my grandma
Frances and her Mom
"One of Frances' primary goals was to graduate
from high school. She accom-
plished that and retained the amazingly vibrant
spirit of a teenager throughout the
The last time I saw her she was very sick. Her
cancer was advancing despite years of treatment
and periods of remission.But she was propped up
in bed with a mirror on her lap, trying on new
colors of make-up and putting barrettes in her
--Frances' Social Worker
Aubrey R. and his Grandfather
"Aubrey's grandparents were his
primary support system. They had already taken
on the responsibility to raise Aubrey and his
siblings several years earlier. There were
plenty of problems that existed before Aubrey's
cancer diagnosis: financial and transportation
difficulties, the absence of Aubrey's parents.
The toll these stressors took on this elderly
couple was painfully evident, but they stepped
right up to the job."
--Aubrey's Social Worker
5 South / Oncology
December 8 to January 28,
28 black & white photographs
Soft Cover book
|I was a social worker on 5 South, the
oncology unit of
Children's Hospital Oakland, for eight years.
We went through the day as if working there were the most normal
thing in the world, while keeping our hearts open and being as
compassionate and emotionally connected as we could tolerate.
began to take photographs of what I saw in the hospital rooms.
Later in the quiet of my own darkroom, I would watch the images
reappear on the paper in the chemical trays...
Chronicle/Carlos Avila Gonzales
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