John Kaplan- Extra Credit


Cancer might have struck his body, but nothing stopped his motivation to live life to the fullest. John Kaplan, Pulitzer prize winning photographer, showed a documentary of his journey through lymphoma cancer Monday, feb., 11th at 6 p.m. in Lee Hills Hall.  His film was only a small glimpse into the life he has lead since being diagnosed with cancer 5 years ago.  Before being diagnosed with Lymphoma Kaplan said he had never taken pictures of himself.  However, this quickly changed following his diagnosis. John’s story shows the light he had during a time of pure darkness.  Throughout the documentary you are able to see all the stages in Kaplan’s journey, both the good and bad.

Kaplan took many visual pictures to emphasize how he was feeling. He made the pictures illustrate if he was having a good or bad day.  Some examples include:

  • Putting his hands on his head
  • Bloody body parts and needles
  • Eyes closed and in pain
  • Screams from peeling off a band aid
  • Smiling with his kids
  • Goofy faces
  • Drawings that his kids made for him
  • Hair in hands from falling out
  • Hair on his bed pillows from chemo
  • Kids drawing pictures of their dad with no hair
  • Pill bottles and medicine patches

However, the whole film was not just pictures.  There were also glimpses of his progression through video and him speaking.  It was easily seen how he wanted to make a negative situation positive. One example of this is that whenever Kaplan went to one of his chemotherapy sessions he brought the hospital a pie. He also mentioned that he wanted others to be able to see his documentary and realize that there can be something good to come out of cancer.  Which now is an obvious thing he has accomplished.

To see more about John Kaplan’s documentary and his award winning photos visit the following websites:

Although Kaplan is only one of many who have survived cancer he stands as a big example of someone who preserved through it for not only is good, but others as well.  After doing some research I found out that there is around 12 million cancer survivors, with one in every two men being victims. Below is a picture that better describes the details of both men and women cancer victims:


To learn more about cancer victims like John visit:

“Every day is a blessing, Everyday is a gift” – John Kaplan


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