"Sentenced" 

This image was taken one hour after Lew was diagnosed with stage 4 oral + neck cancer. 

Lew spent endless hours rolling his own cigarettes. At one point and for many years, Lew smoked 4 packs a day.

A one year documentary of a discarded decorated veteran named Lew. Lew spent his entire career in the United States Air-Force. Through a 15 year friendship, I eventually became his sole caregiver. Together, we traveled through his journey of stage 4 oral + neck cancer. I documented the last year of his life, up's, down's and everything in-between. After his death in 2011, I continued to photograph what took place around me. To this day, this year long journey changed my life to the point that I left a 20 year design career to pursue documenting other people's personal journey's. 

After weeks of chemotherapy + months of radiation, Lew was given a diagnosis of "in-operable". I took this image shortly after we left the Dr.'s office. Lew still sporting a positive smile for me.

This image was taken outside of where Lew would spend his last few weeks of life- Veterans hospital hospice care. Moments after I took this picture, Lew entered the doors.

A moment of connection between friends. No words, just touch.  Lew was unresponsive here but knew I was there holding his hand. Gentle squeezes was all he could give.

A moment of connection between friends. No words, just touch.  Lew was unresponsive here but knew I was there holding his hand. Gentle squeezes was all he could give.

One of the hardest photo's I took. When they opened the kiln after cremation. I saw Lew and it was clear he was truly gone at this moment. 

One of the hardest photo's I took. When they opened the kiln after cremation. I saw Lew and it was clear he was truly gone at this moment. 

Going to a place where, past + present come together. No color, no race, no judgement. People rest in perfect harmony. Lew back by his mothers side.

Going to a place where, past + present come together. No color, no race, no judgement. People rest in perfect harmony. Lew back by his mothers side.

Driving away, tears streaming....but knowing he rested peacefully with many embracing, where, when living was simply tossed aside by society even though he served his country his entire adult life. 

Driving away, tears streaming....but knowing he rested peacefully with many embracing, where, when living was simply tossed aside by society even though he served his country his entire adult life. 

Lew passed away this day. With love from amazing doctors + nurses around him. He told me for a year that he just wanted me by his side when he passed. Lew waited until everyone left, I sat down, held his hand and told him to "go". He did....

Lew passed away this day. With love from amazing doctors + nurses around him. He told me for a year that he just wanted me by his side when he passed. Lew waited until everyone left, I sat down, held his hand and told him to "go". He did....

Lew suffered multiple strokes, one massive one right in front of me. This image is titled "Who will be there for you?". At one point in our lives, we will want 

Lew suffered multiple strokes, one massive one right in front of me. This image is titled "Who will be there for you?". At one point in our lives, we will want