A University of Bolton photography student who survived prostate cancer has launched an exhibition of his degree work as part of a hospital’s health awareness campaign.
Ian Smith, aged 70, said he was “proud and overwhelmed” as his images were unveiled at the Royal Preston
The ‘Prostate Cancer – Every Picture Tells a Story’ exhibition goes on display to the public today (Thursday July 12).
It features photographs of five men, who have all survived the disease, pictured with their wives.
Ian, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2010, and still undergoes regular tests, said that he hoped the exhibition would encourage men to get checked out earlier.
He also wants to inspire those with the disease to realise that there is life after diagnosis.
At the age of 67, Ian, who lives in Adlington, between Bolton and Chorley, decided to enrol on a Photography BA degree at the University of Bolton.
For the past two and a half years he has been working on the project as part of his course, using his experience of being diagnosed with prostate cancer to create the highly personal and moving exhibition. He will graduate next week.
Ian, who is married to Ann and has two children and three grandchildren, said that of all men diagnosed with prostate cancer, 60 per cent have been sent by their wives to get checked out.
He said: “The project celebrates guys who have been treated, but also the inclusiveness and support of their wives. My wife has also been amazing throughout it all.”
John Yeadon, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2008, is featured in the exhibition and he attended the launch with his wife Ann.
He said: “I couldn’t have done it all without my wife steering me through the ups and downs, the setbacks and the moments of hopelessness.”
Ian has been given permission to install the exhibition at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Chorley District Hospital, as well as Preston. It means that the work will be seen by the public until at least spring next year.
Sam Johnson, Head of Bolton School of the Arts at the University of Bolton, said: “It is incredibly rewarding to see Ian’s work being exhibited in this way. He has managed to bring people’s stories to life.”
Liz Jennings, Macmillan Service User Involvement & Insight Coordinator at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust, said: “The exhibition is all about positive messages. Early presentation leads to better outcomes. It also shows the importance of family members’ and loved ones’ support.”
The exhibition runs at the Royal Preston Hospital until August 31.
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