Tell Me Something Good: The “Look Now” project and breast cancer

Tell Me Something Good

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Her Syracuse University TEDx Talk tells the story.  “Look at me.  I am a breast cancer survivor.  These are my third set of breasts, but not my last.”

Tula Goenka’s chosen profession is a filmmaker.  But since breast cancer chose her, she’s used her talents to help other people.  Over the last 11 years, the S.U. film professor has worked tirelessly to create “Look Now,” a website that puts a face to breast cancer here in Central New York. 

Forty-four breast cancer survivors, including two men, bare themselves and their stories through video interviews and photo portraits, in the hope that their knowledge will empower others suddenly facing the challenge of a lifetime. 

A sample of those stories gives a taste of the topics they deal with: “I guess after I stopped Menopause, I started doing breast exams, but I wasn’t that regular with it.”

“My mother was taking a shower one day and she found a lump in her breast.  At that time, we didn’t understand what it meant.”

“After treatment, I did go back to my job, because I wanted to prove to myself that yes, I can do it.”

Tula Goenka says, “If we can share our wisdom and our experiences with people who’ve just been diagnosed recently or know somebody who’s going through it recently, it helps.”

The project has included a photo exhibit and even a theatre piece. Now, the website, LookNowProject.org, has come together pretty much as she’d hoped.  But while this part of her work is in good shape, the overall mission has a long way to go.

Tula says we need a lot more funding for breast cancer research, and she’d also like to see a lot more attention paid to patients who’ve been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.

“And I don’t think people realize that 114, 115 on an average die from breast cancer in the United States every day,” she says.

Tula Goenka is hopeful the Look Now Project gives those facing a diagnosis today, a better chance at survival. 

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