Nancy Borowick

Nancy Borowick

American photographer
Country: USA

Biography of Nancy Borovik

Nancy Borovik, an American photographer, is known for her powerful and inspiring images documenting her parents' battle against stage four cancer. Born in New York, the 31-year-old humanitarian photographer captured precious moments during breaks in her parents' fight against the deadly disease. Her mother, Laurel, battled breast cancer, while her father, Howie, faced inoperable pancreatic cancer.

Nancy Borowick

The Borovik family photo sessions began in 2012, but sadly, Howie passed away in December 2013. Laurel followed a year later in December 2014. Nancy is currently focused on publishing her book, 'The Family Imprint', a complete collection that reflects the intimate final moments of her parents' lives, including their daily chemotherapy sessions, warm embraces, and their deaths. Through capturing the lives of her parents, Borovik aimed to convey a message of family strength, love, support, and hope.

Nancy Borowick

Both Laurel and Howie were diagnosed with cancer at an early stage. Laurel was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 at the age of 42. In 2011, she received the devastating news that the disease had returned, leading her to prepare for another challenging battle.

In December 2012, Howie learned about his inoperable pancreatic cancer. Instead of giving up and succumbing to despair, the couple, who had been married for 34 years, became a reliable source of support for each other.

The photo sessions captured the special moments shared between Laurel and Howie. They held hands during chemotherapy, tried to make each other and others laugh, celebrated birthdays, and rejoiced in positive scan results. Perhaps the most touching moment occurred when the parents attended their daughter's wedding, which was intentionally postponed for a year to ensure they could be there for the most important day in her life.

Other images include Howie's funeral, where he was dressed in his favorite jeans, baseball cap, and beloved 'New York Giants' t-shirt. Just one day before the first anniversary of her husband's death, Laurel passed away on her bed surrounded by her family.

Nancy stated that she wanted to show others the joy that life can bring, even in the face of death. She explained, "I never deliberately set out to do this, but it just happened naturally as a photographer. The process of photographing my parents allowed me to understand what was happening."

She further added, "I quickly realized that I was not documenting a story about cancer. This is a story about how we lived, about our family, and about hope. I understand that the story turned out to be sad, but there is still hope."

"Cleaning out our family home with my siblings, we discovered one thing after another, learning who our parents were. Mom and Dad never wanted to be remembered as cancer patients. They were more than just terminally ill individuals."

Nancy concluded, "One of the best gifts our parents gave us was not only the realization of how fleeting time is but also the example of how to make the most of it. The awareness of time is a special kind of perspective. It shapes every day of my life."

Stage four cancer is the final stage of the disease. Breast cancer occurs when there are abnormalities in the division and growth of cells. According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, breast tumors grow slowly, and it may take up to 10 years for a noticeable lump to develop.

Approximately 50-75% of breast cancer cases start in the milk ducts, 10-15% in the lobules (the glands that produce breast milk), and in some cases, it can occur in other areas of the breast.

The five-year survival rate for stage four breast cancer is 26%. In 2017, it is estimated that this disease will claim the lives of 40,450 women.

Pancreatic cancer is classified based on its localization, either endocrine or exocrine, with the majority of cases falling into the latter category. Both men and women are equally susceptible to this disease, usually after the age of 45. Each year, approximately 40,000 people die from pancreatic cancer.

The pancreas is a 16-23 cm organ situated between the stomach and spine. It produces the hormone insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin enters cells, where it can be used as fuel.

According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, it is expected that pancreatic cancer will become the fourth "most common cancer killer" in the United States by the second half of 2020.

Recent data from the UK National Statistics show an 8% increase in the number of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer since 2012.

There is evidence linking the consumption of large amounts of sugar to an increased risk of cancer, including pancreatic cancer. The disease is primarily associated with weight gain and diabetes. A review of 35 studies published in the European Journal of Cancer in 2011 found that there is strong support for the idea that type 2 diabetes can be an early symptom and a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, and the body's cells become resistant to insulin.