One year after this couple were married, they had to face cancer together. Here’s how they coped.

“For many people, a story that includes the word cancer in it starts with a bad feeling, a sad story that punches you in the gut. It is a terrible and scary disease that you never think will happen to you or your loved ones, until it does.” — Philipp. (Ana Maria Arevalo Gosen)

Venezuelan photographer Ana Maria Arevalo Gosen met her husband, Philipp, in 2009 when he was spending a year as a German exchange student in Venezuela. Shortly after that, she moved to France. But they kept up their relationship over long distance for the next four years until she moved to Hamburg to live with him. One year later, in 2015, they were married.

As with so many things in life, happiness is sometimes coupled with pain.

One year after Ana and Philipp were married, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. But he was able to have the tumor causing it removed through surgery, and life seemed to return to normal for a while. Then in 2017, Philipp was diagnosed with a metastasis and had to go through strong chemotherapy treatments. This time, Ana decided to pick up her camera and document her husband’s fight against cancer.

The good news is that Philipp is healthy again. As Gosen told In Sight, “This series is called ‘The Meaning of Life’ and it is an intimate story about love, strength and how to live through hard times and cancer.”

Ana and Philipp hope that telling their story helps raise awareness of testicular cancer in order, as Philipp says, “to make it more understandable and less taboo, to open a dialogue, to help other men understand that a regular check has many benefits. Also to express that people, and especially young people, go through this, need and accept as much help and love as they can.”

This is their story.

In Sight is The Washington Post’s photography blog for visual narrative. This platform showcases compelling and diverse imagery from staff and freelance photographers, news agencies and archives. If you are interested in submitting a story to In Sight, please complete this form.

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