A few weeks ago, I received a random email from a lady named Karen. One of her best friends was going through a hard time and she was hoping I could capture some memories for them quiet urgently. I called Karen to chat, she was so thrilled to receive a return call as she had reached out to quiet a few photographers but the calls fell on deaf ears, this broke me.
As photographers we are pretty lucky to do what we love and make a living from it, I truly believe that as humans, we all should give back, it helps to create balance and harmony and it keeps you humble.
Karen’s friends Danielle and Nick have a very sick little girl. Her name is Charlotte and she is only 3 years old. At the start of the year she was like any normal 3 year old but as the months progressed, Danielle knew there was something seriously wrong with her daughter as she slowly stopped being able to move freely and walk. Diagnosed with Embryonal Cancer with multilayered Rosettes C19 in April of this year, Charlotte has undergone numerous rounds of treatment to try and fight this insidious disease but so far, the cancer is being extremely stubborn. Apparently this cancer is so rare, one child every six years, world wide is diagnosed with it.
I’ll just let that sink in……😢
I contacted Danielle to organise a session and after a few week of trying to work around hospital appointments we locked in last Thursday.
Charlotte and her two sisters Chelsea and Natalie arrived with mum Danielle, dad Nick and grandmother Carol.
It’s quiet confronting seeing such a little person so obviously sick, I just wanted to scoop her up and hug her tight. It really isn’t fare for anyone to go through the trauma of Cancer, but when you are just 3 years old and your life is just starting, it just makes you angry that this could be happening.
Charlotte wouldn’t let go of her dad during the session and I don’t blame her. For the past few months it’s been a whirlwind of hospital appointments, medicine and needles. She’s too young to understand, that what is making her so sick, is what’s also trying to make her better.
We spent an hour or so doing some family portraits, it was sprinkling outside so we opted for the new bed set up and then headed outside after. My plan of dressing her up like a Princess didn’t happen, but that’s ok, because it’s not about me, it was about this sweet little girl and her family and I got what I could while trying to make Charlotte as comfortable as possible.
Danielle and Nick, I wish you strength and unity through this tough road ahead. I pray for a miracle that Charlotte will defy the odds and be running around with her sisters in the near future. You have all been in my thoughts every day since the session and will continue to be so.
Some of them are a little confronting and I opted to include these, as it shows the raw reality of what this beautiful family is dealing with every single day. Hug your babies just a little bit tighter tonight.