In 2012 Laurel was battling a recurrence of breast cancer when Howie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Their daughter Nancy (a freelance photographer whose work has appeared in The New York Times) had documented her mother's cancer, and Howie asked her to document his.
Nancy's mother wrote: "When I agreed to be the subject of your photo assignment my intention was to be dependable and available. I knew I could be helpful, spend quality time with you and hopefully have the opportunity to do some nurturing.
"What I didn't know then but realize now, is that I would be the recipient of your help, quality time and nurturing.
"Your photo project has been a catalyst to permit, legitimize and push me to articulate what I usually keep buried.
"Thank you for helping me to speak from a place of strength and for providing this opportunity for me to see the beautiful images you create with a camera, using your heart as your guide. XOXO, Mom"