French charity the Mimi Foundation operates on the belief that life is meant to be enjoyed. The foundation provides people who have cancer with access to psychologists, massage therapists, and "beauty therapists"—hairdressers and makeup artists who teach patients how to address the cancer treatment's effects on their appearance.
It wasn't surprising then that the foundation offered 20 patients in Brussels full makeovers last summer. The caveat, however, was that the participants had to keep their eyes closed until after the makeover was complete. At about the 1:30 mark, why the request was made becomes evident.
The point of the foundation's "If Only for a Second" campaign was to inspire enough laughter in participants to forget their illness, even for just a moment.
Photographer Vincent Dixon was on hand to capture the patients as they enjoyed a second of carefree fun. The images have been turned into the book Ne Serait-ce Qu'une Seconde (If Only for a Second), which went on sale this week.
On Nov. 7, participants and family members attended the book's launch party, where all the photos in the series were unveiled. According to the Mimi Foundation's press release, "Within a second, smiling faces were seen all over the room. At that very moment, the cancer did not exist for the family members either."
The Mimi Foundation reports that the inspiration for the project came from one of its patients, who described her life before and after her diagnosis. "You know what I miss most?" she said. "Being carefree."
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- Disease & Medical Conditions