Huffpost Arts

Photographer's Heartbreaking Series Documents His Twin Brother's Struggle With Cerebral Palsy

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Photographer Christopher Capozziello was born just five minutes before his twin brother Nick. Yet when Nick was born he was not breathing.

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The younger twin developed Cerebral Palsy, causing his muscles to cramp and spasm at any moment, cramps that can last anywhere from minutes to days. Besides the cramps and spasms Nick can walk and speak at a functional level. "He understands enough about the world to know what he’s missing," Capozziello told the New York Times.

"When I look at him I feel lost," Capozziello wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. "I wonder where the justice is in all of this. I am the brother who survives and has choices, and he is the brother who suffers and does not."

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Connecticut-based Capozziello has struggled to find the words to communicate his emotions, and as a result began exploring the ways photography could help. "It had little to do with showing what it is like to live with cerebral palsy, and more to do with sharing our story as brothers, and being open about my laments, and sharing how I began to move past the guilt I carried for being the healthy twin," Capozziello explains on Kickstarter.

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In his gripping black-and-white photographs, Capozziello captures an unromanticized yet love-filled portrayal of life with CP. Whether capturing the struggles experienced in a chaotic medical procedure or a lone trip up a staircase, Capozziello depicts pain and strength with unflinching honesty. When not donning hospital garb, Nick wears leather jackets, flannel shirts and the occasional earring, painting him as an individual and not a symbol of his disability.

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Capozziello has been shooting Nick's disability for thirteen years now, gaining knowledge about both his brother and himself in the process. "I wonder," Capozziello told the New York Times, "if my brother’s suffering, in the end, has taught me how to live."

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Capozziello is currently in process of turning his photo series into a book, titled "The Distance Between Us." Although his Kickstarter campaign to fund the book still has over two weeks left, he's already earned the $16,000 needed to begin the project. Check out Capozziello's heart-wrenching images below and head to his Kickstarter page to get involved.

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