One a foggy fall morning in 2003, my parents gathered all of their children in the family room and told us they had something to tell us.
Mom had breast cancer.
That conversation started an unforgettable and life-changing year for me. That night I practically bled tears as I laid in bed, trying to sleep and eventually I snuck into my mom's room and slept next to her bed on the floor. I was scared. But there is nothing like being loved by your church, neighborhood and even complete strangers. By the help of literally hundreds, my dad, my six younger siblings and I were fed, carpooled, hosted, given clean clothes, had Christmas gifts wrapped, and adventures had while my mother battled cancer. What a fighter. Watching her faith gave me faith. She was peaceful, hopeful and strong. She made us laugh when she lost her hair (hardest moment of my life when I came home from school and saw her bald, sleeping head) by buying and wearing a colorful clown wig. She never let us worry. She lived out her marvelous hope in God.
But I think the hardest part for her wasn't the chemo, or the surgeries, or the recovery, or the steroids… it was missing our lives. At the time she had a one-year-old, two-year-old and four-year-old who she couldn't snuggle with at night. That killed her. Her babies were growing up and they had to spend most their time with someone else. And that's when I first got serious about photography. I took pictures of those kids so she could remember them during that year. Rolls and rolls and rolls of film simply telling of the story of little Michael, Shannon and Lauren. All of the wonderful women who came to help us always let me show them my "favorite" pictures and they were oh-so encouraging and supportive. And one dear girl offered to let me shoot at her wedding that upcoming summer. And that's how it allllll began.
My photography business is so closely tied to my mom's breast cancer. She thankfully is in remission and is as healthy as a peach :D Praise God! But I wanted to be a part of this fundraiser for any daughter who ever has or ever will watch their mom experience cancer. As hard as it is, there is so much hope. And God can do unimaginably wonderful things through such trying times.
So, I am COMPLETELY honored to be a part of Lydia Shannon's "f/stop Breast Cancer" photography auction. She has 50 photographers (including Jose Villa, The Image is Found, Becker, Mark Brooke, Justin&Mary, Susan Stripling and so many others) who are offering mentor-sessions for this auction.
Check out the site here!
The auction will be from October 14- October 19th and all proceeds will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer. I'd love your bid! I'd love to be able to use my business - that so started because of breast cancer - to help!
So, spread the word, mark your calendars and let's raise some money, friends!
Mom, this is for you! I love you.