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April 2011: Mitch Sevier

Person of the month

Each month, we feature a member of our community who has shown exceptional commitment and passion in the fight to end Duchenne. This person could be a parent, researcher, Member of Congress, care giver, runner, friend - anyone who has made a palpable impact on the PPMD community.

"A picture is worth a thousand words." Never has the quote spoken such truth as it has with new images created by our April Person of the Month, Mitch Sevier. Mitch is a talented  photographer and father of a son with Duchenne, He has put together some incredible images that truly capture what Duchenne “looks” like. These photographs illustrate Duchenne in a way PPMD has never experienced. Mitch has donated these images to the community so that you can share the Duchenne experience with people in your life who need something visual to understand how Duchenne affects the body. Check out these incredible images and learn more about Mitch Sevier.

Meet Mitch Sevier

  1. How did you "meet" PPMD and Duchenne?

    Actually my wife did.  When our son was diagnosed with Duchenne my wife started researching  information about the disease and support groups on the net. My youngest son was diagnosed at the age of two.  He is now 11.

  2. How long have you been taking pictures? Apr  11 POM

    My first camera was a pocket point and shoot when I went into the Navy after high school...long, long ago.

    What inspired you to do the series of pictures on Duchenne?

    In the last couple years I have been trying to take my photography to a new level.  A common suggestion by many successful photographers is to take images of something you feel strongly about.  Watching our son struggle with this disease and trying to make people understand what it means to live with it day to day, seemed like the perfect subject.  The challenge I gave myself is to make images that show the difficulties of the disease and not show my son in the images.  This way it’s about the disease and other families could use the images to make their families and friends understand.

    What has the response been?

    Since posting this series on Flickr and Facebook, I have received many comments from people I work with as well as others in the photo community about how moved they are by the images.  I’m a bit of a happy go lucky kind of guy, so for some of my co-workers it has been an eye opening set of images for them.  They said they never would have guessed the challenges our family faces day to day, had they never seen the images.

    (PPMD would like to add that nothing we have posted has had the amount of response from this community on Facebook, like these images. From their 'debut' at this year's One Voice Advocacy Summit, to the album on our website and through social media outlets, people in the community shared their emotional responses and have embraced the idea of using these images in the way Mitch hoped.)

    What was creating these images like for you?

    These have been the most rewarding images I have ever made.  I believe the photo masters are right in saying shoot something you feel passionate about.  When I sent PPMD the link to my Flickr postings, I never expected the response that I received.  When Pat Furlong contacted me about my images, I was totally taken by surprise.  I was expecting a call from someone else that day and it took me a minute to realize the significance of who I was talking to, and that this was about my images. It has been very rewarding to see the positive response to my images.

  3. And, finally for fun or reflection, if you could have dinner with any three people - living or dead - who would they be and why?

    Dinner with a dead guy? Ewwwww!!!!

    • Joe McNally - World class photographer that just seems like a fun guy to be around.
    • President Obama -  Why not?? You know he's going to have great chefs around.
    • Pat Furlong - My wife would love to meet her and I could thank her personally for showing such a strong interest in my images. 


Meet the previous Person of the Month.

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