Emergence number 1

emergence 1-Judith Shireff

Adult Photography/Digital Art (age 18+)

Nineteen months ago I was diagnosed with LAM.

The shock and distress was great, especially as LAM is considered an ‘orphan disease’ and by numbers, very rare. Most peculiar was the fact of my age . . . much older than the statistical age, which is generally women of child bearing years. No matter our ages, LAM is a personal and, when the diagnosis is initially made, can be devastating.

But women with LAM are made of stern stuff.
Life goes on. We are greatly supported by The Lam Foundation, and by other women who meet the challenge daily.

Humor is there for us to see the ironic side. My respirologist advised me that scuba diving and mountain climbing were not advised! And for that I am grateful.

My world is no smaller. I am an artist whose art has kept me grounded and focused on what is life affirming. Some of my art possibly represents an underlying fear for the future, but much of it is colorful and hopeful.

I paint people, not landscapes. Like the world’s portraitists in the past, I see the world through my subject’s eyes, body language and life experiences.

LAM does not change who I am. An artist!

By Judith Shirreff

Age: 71
Disease: Lymphangioliomyomatosis (LAM)
Submissions: 4
Date: March 5, 2012
City: Kingston
State: Ontario