Erin Burgess is a rare breed: A shy cover model.
“It’s incredibly nerve-wracking and pretty surreal,” she said.
Burgess appears on the cover of Young & Fearless — Inspiration of Cancer Survivors. It’s a book of vivid photography and inspirational stories of 30 local cancer survivors under the age of 30.
The book was launched at the Art & Jules studio on Gottingen Street yesterday.
Halifax photographer Shari Tucker said the project grew over the past two years and she found the people featured in the book by word of mouth and Facebook.
“People were really positive about it and wanted to share their stories,” Tucker said.
Burgess, for example, has a unique story.
“She got leukemia in her early 20s, she went into remission, she found out she was pregnant and then found out she had cancer again,” Tucker explained. “She had to have the pregnancy terminated and having a child was very important to her.”
Kimberley Reid, another survivor appearing in the book, was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 20s.
“She battled breast cancer at the same time her dad was battling cancer. Unfortunately her dad lost his battle, but Kimberly has survived hers,” she said. “She’s really positive and she learned a lot from her dad and doing this project.”
Tucker said she wanted to focus on cancer survivors under 30 because there’s not a lot of attention given to them.
“Young people deal with a whole set of different issues than the older generation does,” she said. “Young people have issues with fertility, can they have children — or not, if they have ovarian cancer or testicular cancer.”
Plus she wanted to spread survivor stories instead of the many sad stories associated with cancer.
“There are lots of sad stories out there but it’s really important to me to get the word out that cancer can be survived. It’s very inspirational what these people have gone through.”