Caitlin Cronenberg Exposes the Reality of Young Women Living with MS

Video: Dream/Awake Photo Exhibit - Behind-the-Scenes Footage

A new photo exhibit created by Caitlin Cronenberg, entitled 'Dream/Awake' shares personal stories of young women living with multiple sclerosis. Lisa Marie Gingera of Montreal, QC (pictured) is one of three women who participated in the project to expose the reality of MS from diagnosis to treatment. (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)

A new photo exhibit created by Caitlin Cronenberg, entitled 'Dream/Awake' shares personal stories of young women living with multiple sclerosis. Lisa Marie Gingera of Montreal, QC (pictured) is one of three women who participated in the project to expose the reality of MS from diagnosis to treatment. (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)

In recognition of World MS Day on May 30th, Caitlin Cronenberg has created a first-of-its-kind photo exhibit that showcases the journey young women face when diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Tracy Palmer of Calgary, AB (pictured) participated in the project to inspire young women living with the disease." (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)

In recognition of World MS Day on May 30th, Caitlin Cronenberg has created a first-of-its-kind photo exhibit that showcases the journey young women face when diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Tracy Palmer of Calgary, AB (pictured) participated in the project to inspire young women living with the disease." (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)

Himani Ediriweera of Toronto, ON (pictured) poses for a new photo exhibit created by Caitlin Cronenberg to expose the reality of living with multiple sclerosis. In recognition of World MS Day on May 30th, the exhibit will be on display to share personal stories from diagnosis to treatment of three Canadian women. (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)

Himani Ediriweera of Toronto, ON (pictured) poses for a new photo exhibit created by Caitlin Cronenberg to expose the reality of living with multiple sclerosis. In recognition of World MS Day on May 30th, the exhibit will be on display to share personal stories from diagnosis to treatment of three Canadian women. (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)

Internationally acclaimed photographer creates first-of-its-kind exhibit highlighting the struggles, hopes and personal choices upon diagnoses

TORONTO, May 30, 2012 /CNW/ - In recognition of World MS Day on May 30th, renowned international photographer, Caitlin Cronenberg, has created a first-of-its-kind photo exhibit to showcase the journey young women face when diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).  With many women diagnosed in the prime of their lives, three vivacious women from across the country participated in the project and shared their personal stories through a new lens.

The national exhibit, entitled DREAM/AWAKE, will be unveiled today in Toronto, featuring Caitlin's visual interpretation of each woman's personal experience with MS.  The exhibit takes aim at life after diagnosis, telling a visual tale of the pivotal moment when a young woman learns she has MS and the personal journey that follows.  The images demonstrate the feelings of loss - of body, family, opportunity or work - and how each woman has reclaimed her life through treatment and become a figure of inspiration for young women fighting the disease.

"The women featured in my exhibit are such an inspiration to me. One of my greatest fears is losing the ability to do the things I want to do - and these women have overcome obstacles that I can only imagine," said Caitlin Cronenberg, Canadian photographer and author. "This project was an opportunity for me to tell a story that is close to my heart - and to share the emotional and physical strength of these women with a larger audience."

Canada has one of the world's highest rates of MS with an estimated 55,000 to 75,000 Canadians living with the disease.1  MS is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada,2 typically striking in early adulthood in between the ages of 15 and 403 with the average age of onset in North America being 29 years.4  Women are more than three times more likely to develop MS than men.5

"Every woman has a different journey with MS, but what we all have in common is that with diagnosis, came an immense feeling of loss - whether it was a dream for tomorrow, or our hopes for the future," said Ms. Himani Ediriweera, diagnosed with MS in March 2005 and project participant. "I am very fortunate to have participated in this project. After living with MS for seven years, it truly is a genuine reflection of what we have experienced and overcome represented in a way that is relevant for young women everywhere."

"Over the past 15 years there have been great advances in the way that we treat this disease," said Dr. Daniel Selchen, a neurologist from Toronto. "We can reduce relapses associated with MS, which can be terrifying and debilitating.  We can slow the progression of the disease over the long term. Patients now have the option to treat the disease with either injectable or oral therapies. This exhibit is important because it truly captures the extent to which women can thrive while living with MS."

Following the exhibit, Caitlin Cronenberg has graciously donated the photographs for silent auction in support of the MS Society of Canada.  The MS Society of Canada provides services to people with multiple sclerosis and their families and funds research to find the cause and cure for this disease.

"MS is an unpredictable disease and afflicts young women at a time when they should be most active and hopeful about their futures," says Dr. Riad Sherif B, President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. "As a global leader in the treatment of MS, we are proud to support this exhibit and help to shine a light on the faces behind this disease."

About MS
MS is often a disabling disease of the central nervous system (CNS). It occurs because the body attacks the myelin, a protective covering wrapped around the nerves of the CNS, causing lesions or scars in the CNS as demyelination occurs. The cause of MS is still unknown, though current research increasingly points to a complex interplay of environmental and possibly genetic risk factors. The most common form of the disease, relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) describes a type of MS characterized by unpredictable, but clearly defined episodes during which new symptoms appear, or existing ones get worse. These 'episodes' are also known as attacks, relapses, exacerbations, or flare-ups. The hallmark of RRMS is the recovery, or 'remission', that occurs between attacks.

About Caitlin Cronenberg
After graduating from Ryerson University in 2006 with a degree in Fashion Design, Toronto-born Caitlin Cronenberg decided to shift direction and pursue a career in photography. Her work has since been published in an assortment of publications including L'Uomo Vogue, French Elle, German Vanity Fair, Bullett, 25 Magazine, and Hello! Canada, as well as every major Canadian newspaper.  In 2010 she completed and self-published her first book of photography, POSER, and is currently working on her second - The Endings.

About Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., a leader in the healthcare field, is committed to the discovery, development and marketing of innovative products to improve the well-being of all Canadians. In 2011, the company invested close to $92 million in research and development in Canada and conducted clinical trials across the country seeking new treatments in Ophthalmology, Respiratory diseases, Neurosciences (including MS), Immunology and Infectious diseases, Cardiovascular, Oncology (including Hematology) and organ transplantation. It was also named for the seventh time as one of the "50 Best Employers in Canada". Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. is one of five Novartis companies in Canada, which include, Sandoz Canada Inc., Novartis Animal Health Canada Inc., Novartis Consumer Health Canada Inc. and Alcon Canada Inc.  For further information, please visit www.novartis.ca.


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1 Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. About MS, Who gets MS?. Accessed May 9, 2012. http://mssociety.ca/en/information/ms_what.htm.
2 Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. About MS, Accessed May 9, 2012. http://mssociety.ca/en/information/default.htm.
3 Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, About MS, Who gets MS?. Accessed May 9, 2012. http://mssociety.ca/en/information/ms_what.htm.
4 Data Monitor. Epidemiology: Multiple Sclerosis. March 2011; 9.
5 Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. About MS, Accessed May 9, 2012. http://mssociety.ca/en/information/default.htm.



 

Video with caption: "Video: Dream/Awake Photo Exhibit - Behind-the-Scenes Footage". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20120530_C3782_VIDEO_EN_14321.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20120530_C3782_PHOTO_EN_14321.jpg&clientName=Novartis%20Pharmaceuticals%20Canada%20Inc%2E&caption=Video%3A%20Dream%2FAwake%20Photo%20Exhibit%20%2D%20Behind%2Dthe%2DScenes%20Footage&title=NOVARTIS%20PHARMACEUTICALS%20CANADA%20INC%2E%20%2D%20Dream%2FAwake%20Photo%20Exhibit%20%2D%20Behind%2Dthe%2DScenes%20Footage&headline=Caitlin%20Cronenberg%20Exposes%20the%20Reality%20of%20Young%20Women%20Living%20with%20MS

Image with caption: "A new photo exhibit created by Caitlin Cronenberg, entitled 'Dream/Awake' shares personal stories of young women living with multiple sclerosis. Lisa Marie Gingera of Montreal, QC (pictured) is one of three women who participated in the project to expose the reality of MS from diagnosis to treatment. (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120530_C3782_PHOTO_EN_14313.jpg

Image with caption: "A new photo exhibit created by Caitlin Cronenberg, entitled 'Dream/Awake' shares personal stories of young women living with multiple sclerosis. Lisa Marie Gingera of Montreal, QC (pictured) is one of three women who participated in the project to expose the reality of MS from diagnosis to treatment. (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120530_C3782_PHOTO_EN_14315.jpg

Image with caption: "In recognition of World MS Day on May 30th, Caitlin Cronenberg has created a first-of-its-kind photo exhibit that showcases the journey young women face when diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Tracy Palmer of Calgary, AB (pictured) participated in the project to inspire young women living with the disease." (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120530_C3782_PHOTO_EN_14317.jpg

Image with caption: "In recognition of World MS Day on May 30th, Caitlin Cronenberg has created a first-of-its-kind photo exhibit that showcases the journey young women face when diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Tracy Palmer of Calgary, AB (pictured) participated in the project to inspire young women living with the disease." (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120530_C3782_PHOTO_EN_14319.jpg

Image with caption: "Himani Ediriweera of Toronto, ON (pictured) poses for a new photo exhibit created by Caitlin Cronenberg to expose the reality of living with multiple sclerosis. In recognition of World MS Day on May 30th, the exhibit will be on display to share personal stories from diagnosis to treatment of three Canadian women. (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120530_C3782_PHOTO_EN_14309.jpg

Image with caption: "Himani Ediriweera of Toronto, ON (pictured) poses for a new photo exhibit created by Caitlin Cronenberg to expose the reality of living with multiple sclerosis. In recognition of World MS Day on May 30th, the exhibit will be on display to share personal stories from diagnosis to treatment of three Canadian women. (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120530_C3782_PHOTO_EN_14338.jpg

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/05/30/20120530_C3782_DOC_EN_14325.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/05/30/20120530_C3782_DOC_EN_14327.pdf






For further information:

For additional information and/or to arrange an interview with Caitlin Cronenberg, project participant or spokesperson, please contact:

Rebecca Webster
Weber Shandwick
rwebster@webershandwick.com
416.642.7975