For more than 40 years, photography has been Fred Bodin’s life. The Rockport resident started as a freelancer before getting regular work at local colleges, newspapers and magazines. Eventually he opened his own classic photography shop – Bodin Historic Photo – in downtown Gloucester.
“It’s like having a hobby, but I get paid for it,” said Bodin, who has run his Gloucester shop for nearly two decades.
But for 10 months last year, from January to October, Bodin’s shop was dark. There was no developing films and no interacting with customers. Instead, Bodin was at Addison Gilbert Hospital receiving cancer treatment.
In January 2014, Bodin was unable to walk and was taken to Addison Gilbert Hospital. There he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer.
“When Fred first came in, he was pretty sick,” said Joanne Gibbs, RN. “Cancer cells can infiltrate other areas of your body, but he was relieved to be treated close to his home.”
“Just the word ‘cancer’ scares the willies out of you,” Bodin said. “I was confused and in disbelief that this could be happening to me.”
But after the initial shock wore off, Bodin found solace turning back to his camera. Lying in his hospital bed, Bodin could still indulge his passion.
“Even though I was limited to what was in my room, I never stopped taking pictures,” Bodin said.
Bodin received chemotherapy and physical therapy through Addison Gilbert and Beverly Hospital as his care team worked to get him back to his passion.
“He has a great love for this town and his community,” Gibbs said. “His photos really capture Cape Ann. He promotes local artists in his windows and I believe Fred makes the most of every day.”
And now, a year after his diagnosis, Bodin has returned to his Gloucester shop, continuing to enjoy his hobby.
“It’s great to be back at work,” Bodin said. “I wanted to come back; I knew I still had the skills.”
To learn more about the Addison Gilbert and Beverly Hospitals’ cancer program, please call 978.283.4000, extension 559.