I was commissioned by Lifestlyes magazine to photograph Debra Black, for a cover story about her non-profit organization Melanoma Research Alliance, created after her own bout of cancer. A teaser from the story written by Menachem Kaiser:
Battle Ready: Underfunded and virtually ignored, melanoma research became Debra Black’s top priority.
There is, I’m afraid, no other way to start this profile than with a wart on the bottom of Debra Black’s foot. Or, more specifically, with what seemed to be a wart. Six and a half years ago, Black—founder of the Melanoma Research Alliance, noted theater producer, and wife of Leon Black, billionaire founder of private equity firm Apollo Global Management—was worried about a discolored patch of skin on her sole. Black, who carried a high risk for certain kinds of skin cancer, took every precaution. “I religiously went to a top dermatologist—the head of the department at a major institution in New York City,” Black says. “He told me it was a wart.”
But the wart, despite the doctor’s reassurances, was not acting at all wart-like. “My doctor treated it is as a wart, and it started to bleed,” Black recalls. “It hurt when I walked. It was getting bigger. The doctor said, ‘Oh, warts bleed. No big deal.’”