Truth in Pictures, Reality in Words: The Extraordinary Photo-Journalism of Moriah Ratner

A recent graduate of Syracuse University's School of Photo-Journalism, Moriah Ratner tells the story of the lovely Lola Munoz, a thirteen year old girl afflicted with the deadliest pediatric cancer, DIPG, published within the last year, is truly a work of distinction. Moriah shares with us the process of discovery in this work, as it began simply as the protocol for a class she was involved in--to tell the story of a person. Already attracted to the resilience of young people who have experienced great trauma from her psychology studies, Moriah began this journey with a referral from Make-A-Wish Central New York, unaware of the human drama she would experience and share with the world as a result. She made it her duty to ensure Lola's legacy would endure with grace and integrity, defying stereotypes of pediatric cancer and, most importantly, to create awareness with "the hope of stimulating a call to action." The story has been published in the Washington Post, National Geographic, and NPR.

Debuting this week is also her first videography project about Vivian Rose Weaver Defeat DIPG Foundation in Washington state, also a story about the journey of young Vivian Rose battling DIPG, a production of Oregon Public Broadcasting Network (OPB).



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About Janet

Blessed with varied interests and an artistic and musical upbringing, Janet had health challenges throughout her young adult life. Despite these she graduated Cum Laude from Wellesley College with an award of distinction for acting, and had also been a champion equestrian. She began a family with her husband Barry later in life, and had finally found happiness with daughter Sophie-Marie (3/12/06) and then baby (Jack 8/30/08). Five weeks after his birth, the family escaped a wildfire in which all worldly possessions were lost. The family relocated in December of 2008 to Agua Dulce CA where they currently reside.

Jack began to have unsettling symptoms at the age of 3; he was taken to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and was diagnosed with DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, on Friday Oct. 28, 2011, indisputably the darkest experience of Janet's life. The outrage of it made her determined to find the good in the situation, and she asked God to "Put me to work!" After Jack's death, she remained determined to start working to find solutions to DIPG and incorporated Jack's Angels at the end of 2012; the Foundation began its work in 2013. Despite the fact that DIPG is responsible for the majority of brain tumor deaths in children, she had been told there were no solutions for Jack because "the numbers aren't great enough for investors." This remains the primary motivation in her advocacy work, to prioritize children's lives in our medical system in the United States.