Actually love. is a visual biography on the precious life of my younger brother, Frankie DiPanfilo (20). Frankie was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of three, and was surviving with limited mobility in a constant, positive spirit. At the age of sixteen, Frankie was misprescribed drugs by his own doctor and was forced into a self-induced comma for six months. The time spent in the Intensive Care Unit for both my family and me was beyond life altering, and knowing the initial cause of the reaction was most penetrating and disturbing. To lose a smile as great as Frankie's was unfathomable, and as a family, we fought to keep Frankie alive as long as possible until someone could figure out the remedy for such a medical mystery. Late in the sixth month of Frankie's hospitalization, he was given DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation), and was cured from most malfunctions. Though his life continues to progressively complicate, Frankie remains with us, blessing us while battery packs in his chest connected to wires in his brain attempt to cure his adverse reaction. Frankie spends most of his time at home in Pembroke, MA with his two extraordinary parents, Frank and Melissa DiPanfilo, and visits me at Graduate School at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, RI from time to time. The images in the following book photographically document the time Frankie spends both at home and with me, as well as dictate the added stresses and encouraging benefits of caring for Frankie. Every minute with my brother is a lesson in life, a moment frozen in time, and an optimistic enlightenment. I believe in my brother's admiration and passion for the littlest things in life, and I will always be moved through his saintly presence in the world.
Seeing you in these photographs encapsulates how much of an effect you have on the environment around you, as well as remind me how beautiful and content you stay throughout every moment of time. Your satisfaction for the way you live and the people who surround you is incredibly honorable. I can only wish to find a similar place in my heart that is just as full of love as your entire soul. Your patience for this project is not to be forgotten; you have allowed me to record and document your charismatic selflessness and memorable twinkle, something I will forever treasure and hold close to my heart. I thank you for helping me create such an astounding collection of your life, and I will keep it safe. I love you with all of my heart, and will always be your biggest fan. I am infinitely proud to be your sibling.
With Love and Compassion,