The SCAR Project

The SCAR Project is a series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors shot by fashion photographer David Jay. Primarily an awareness raising campaign, The SCAR Project puts a raw, unflinching face on early onset breast cancer while paying tribute to the courage and spirit of so many brave young women.

Dedicated to the more than 10,000 women under the age of 40 who will be diagnosed this year alone, The SCAR Project is an exercise in awareness, hope, reflection and healing. The mission is three-fold: raise public consciousness of early-onset breast cancer, raise funds for breast cancer research/outreach programs and help young survivors see their scars, faces, figures and experiences through a new, honest and ultimately empowering lens.

Photography by: David Jay/The SCAR Project

The SCAR Project: Breast Cancer Is Not a Pink Ribbon is available from Amazon.

Follow The SCAR Project on Facebook ,Twitter @thescarproject and the SCAR Blog.

Copyright 2011 © David Jay Photography


Fighting Crohn’s Disease on a Tandem

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 05:52 AM PDT

Hello to all my Crohnies old and new.  I am sat writing this latest blog while slightly spaced out on pain killers, home off work due to my silly tummy and even sillier IBD.

Over the weekend I helped celebrate my wife’s Grandma’s 90th birthday. This celebration included a lot of party food and subsequently led to a rather upset bowel.

Yesterday saw me struggle with diarrhoea which I tried to control with loperamide tablets (Imodium) then during the night I had really bad cramps which meant I didn’t sleep well and had to call in sick to work (I probably overused the loperamide).

As I’ve mentioned before, calling in sick to work is something I try not to do too often but sometimes there is no choice.

This is just a usual weekend for me and my Crohn’s and it isn’t even at its worse. It can be a horrible disease to have to live with. It is incurable. It can be suppressed by medication but not forever. You are always looking over your shoulder; waiting for Mr Crohn’s to return.

Because of this disease and its sister, Colitis, a charity called Crohn’s and Colitis UK was set [...] continue the story

Valleys: Episode 3 — ‘This Guilty Feeling’

Published on Apr 17, 2013

Amy shares that she is learning a lot despite how hard things are and Annie is coming to a new understanding of her experience. She, and Amy’s husband John, express that “this isn’t about me” but they show us that it can’t help but be about them all, because they love Amy.


More Episodes of Valleys

Gladys Wilson and Naomi Feil

Uploaded on May 26, 2009

Naomi Feil, founder of Validation Therapy, shares a breakthrough moment of communication with Gladys Wilson, a woman who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2000 and is virtually non-verbal. Learn more at

Valleys: Episode 2 — “A Cruel Joke”

Published on Apr 10, 2013

Amy and Annie talk more about their friendship and how cancer has impacted their relationship. Amy shares two words that made everything more complicated… and the decision that changed everyone’s lives.

More Episodes of Valleys

Valleys: Episode 1 — “A Two-Edged Sword”

Published on Apr 3, 2013

The life changing journey begins. Meet Amy, her family and her best friend Annie as they all talk about the communication challenges they are facing because of cancer. Amy reflects on the past year and the new upcoming chemo treatments she is going back to… will she be able to accomplish what she set out to do on the mighty Colorado River?

More Episodes of Valleys

The Master Patient

My name is Sarah and my journey is 25 years in the making.

I am a recent graduate with a MA in Sociology specializing in Families, Health and Well-being and a long time patient of the Canadian health care system. I started this project in late 2012, shortly after relocating to Toronto, Ontario with my sister and our three cats Isabelle, Teddy and Oliver. Initially, writing was a means to continue my journey of self discovery post-institution and sharpen my skills of analysis and introspection, while searching for a “real life career”. I deeply miss the engaging discussions, problem solving and critical thinking that I experienced with my professors and peers during grad school and this project has helped me retain some of that. Over the last seven years I have volunteered with numerous health care and health related organizations – trying to gain experiences, knowledge and understanding from others. I love animals, nature and travelling, the latter of which I hope to do more of in the future. My kitten Isabelle sitting on my laptop

I was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder, when I was two and a half years old. Living with this chronic illness has meant [...] continue the story

Molly’s P.INK Tattoo

Personal Ink (P.INK)

P.INK provides tattoo inspirations, ideas, and artist info to breast cancer survivors. To share or pin your own stories, design ideas, and favorite artists, email

It’s difficult to overstate how difficult breast cancer can be for the sufferer, and surviving it can be especially challenging if surgery has left patients with scars, amputations or other changes to their body. Now, the P.INK campaign aims to use decorative tattooing to help women cover up marks, forge community bonds and increase self-esteem.

The platform operates as a Pinterest group, where users can post their own stories about dealing with breast cancer, show off tattoos they already have and share design ideas for others. The pinboard, which was set up by advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bugowsky and social cause marketing firm David Clarke Cause, already details the journey of Molly, who was left with scarred nipples after a mastectomy and had trouble finding resources relevant to her ideas for tattooing the area. P.INK aims to provide a resource for those like Molly, connecting them with tattoo artists with experience of breast inking and creative types with ideas for designs, as well as with others in a similar situation. Users can then [...] continue the story

Stanford Medicine X in conversation with Katie McCurdy

Stanford Medical Student Joyce Ho has a conversation with user experience designer Katie McCurdy on self-tracking.

More from Katie McCurdy – [sensical]

Medical history timeline: a tool for doctor visit storytelling

Originally Posted on January 3, 2012

By: Katie McCurdy

This is a follow-up to my last post, in which I described how visualizing one’s own medical symptoms and progress in the form of a timeline (in addition to other visualization formats) might help people better understand what is happening to them – and help them communicate with health care practitioners.

I recently took a print-out of my own medical timeline (which I had created from memory) to a new Doctor I was seeing, hoping that the visualization of my symptoms and medications would help him better understand what I was experiencing and thus better understand how to treat me. The new doctor was Dr. Richard Ash, a medical doctor in NYC who is known for embracing alternative therapies.

As it turned out, he spent less time with the visualization than I had expected. Because he had seen similar complications in the past, he felt confident that he knew what was going on with me before I even had a chance to show him the timeline. I also realized that Doctors and their staff communicate through their own language of scribbles and shorthand, and they wouldn’t necessarily want to take any extra time during an office [...] continue the story