This is a picture of a teenage boy who was told he may never walk again.

Jacob combated his fears and defiantly climbed the Renzo Piano Stairs in Valletta. My son, popularly known as Titanium Man, refers to this victory as his ‘Rocky moment’.

A photo can speak a thousand words. It can send out a message. A message to never give up. A message that life goes on. A message that shouts out ‘yes, I’m alive!’ And who better to deliver it than someone who’s actually survived?

Over 50 survivors of various illnesses and conditions – all members of Survivors Malta – have volunteered to appear in 12 vibrant photos showing that there is life after trauma. They all have one purpose: to motivate and inspire.

There will be no airbrushing in the Survivors Malta Calendar 2017. It will feature 12 real photos of real people, capturing triumphant and victorious moments as they overcome their challenges to turn the what ifs into why nots.

Photographers IRIS have joined forces with Survivors Malta on this project, along with our designer James Cutajar of Jaycee Malta. Photo shoots will be scheduled in the coming months. Bestprint Malta will be printing 5000 calendars which will be distributed by Miller Distributors during the months of September through to December 2016.

We’ll be donating all proceeds collected from the sales of the calendars at L-Istrina 2016, and we’re hoping to reach quite a substantial amount. Besides the monetary value, we’d also like to send out a very positive and inspiring message not just to families facing trauma, but to everyone who listens to our stories. With the current state of the world, who doesn’t need a little bit of inspiration from time to time?

We require €2,150 for the printing of 5000 Survivors Malta Calendars, and we’re currently sourcing companies for sponsorship. The logos of the companies that help us will be proudly displayed on every month of the calendar. We’ll continue to raise funds up until the print date. The more calendars we can print, the more money we can raise for L-Istrina. Companies wishing to help us sponsor the calendar can contact us on the Titanium Man website.