Emily Price (30 y/o) w/ Shiloh (7 y/o) // Survivor Series editor & co-creator // educator // internet nerd & sometimes writer at Upstate Business Journal, TOWN magazine & Greenville Journal // survivor of mother Gayle (ovarian cancer) & maternal grandmother Helen (leukemia)
“When my friend Emily — who usually edits & posts the stories for S3 (Sunday Survivor Series) — told me she simply couldn’t connect this week, I completely understood. Emily, who has undergraduate & graduate degrees from the Clemson English department, just like her mother — & who is now a college professor, just like her mother — lost her mom to stage 3C ovarian cancer. Emily is a survivor, & July 23 (Thursday) was her mother’s birthday. Emily couldn’t celebrate it with her, & I know how she felt. I lost my mother to cancer, too.
“As I reflected on this, I remembered something Natalie Hahn (last week’s featured survivor) told me while I was photographing her for S3. Natalie, who survived stage 3C ovarian cancer as a college student, told me she & her friends also battling cancer agreed: the experience was worse on their loved ones than it was on themselves.
“Because S3 is about survivors – both those who fought cancer & those who lost loved ones to it – the stories must unavoidably be about happiness & sadness, strength & weakness, living & losing. But most importantly, these stories are about love, & (hopefully) providing inspiration for the many battling cancer now.
“While our series aims to inspire & provide strength to others, it can never be sugarcoated or always end happily. Cancer is a terrible disease. Having it or experiencing a loved one fight it are both brutal experiences. Losing someone to it is arguably the worst. But I believe realizing this is an important part of making it through — part of surviving.
“As I photographed Emily today, I met her mother, even though I’d only seen photographs. Emily’s mom was an incredible professor, & ended a long & distinguished career that included Dean of Graduate Studies & then Associate Provost at Gardner-Webb University. Emily is following in her mother’s footsteps as she enters her third year of teaching at Furman University. Her mother inspired countless students to embrace literature, to use language as a tool to reach & touch others. Her daughter does that today through S3, teaching, & writing for Community Journals. While I didn’t have the honor of personally knowing Gayle Bolt Price, I feel as though I did; because I know her survivor, Emily.”