“Alexandria was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoblastic lymphoma in the fall of 2012 after numerous X-rays that showed nothing. She wasn’t walking for weeks and finally after being referred to an oncologist it was discovered her heel bone on her foot was gone. After a biopsy, her cancer was confirmed. It was such divesting news but I know she will beat this.” – Alexandria’s Mom
I knew that volunteering for The Gold Hope Project would not be easy for me. I knew it would test my faith and my heart would break. I have known too many people in my life that have fought battles with cancer. Some have won their battles and some have not. It was in early 2011 when I had my smacked in the face by childhood cancer. I had known it existed and just couldn’t understand it. It was always so sad to hear stories of families who have lost children to cancer. In 2011 Layla was 3 and very sick. I went to google and her symptoms were linked to Leukemia. We went to an on call doctor right away. We were sent for blood work and after those results came in we were sent for more. The doctor agreed with what we found online. But also said it could be a very bad virus. Three days I had to wait for answers. Those were the three most agonizing days of my life. We got lucky. It was a bad virus attacking her muscles. Her blood tests weren’t so off as they would be with Leukemia. I know not every family is as lucky.
But that time in our life has stayed with me. I am crying as I write and relive it. The fear I had was unbelievable. I knew that nobody would ever be able to help me if she was positive. No amount of words, hugs, dinners, prayers would ever heal my heart. After that I knew I wanted to do something for these families but I just didn’t know WHAT. Because when I was facing going down that road I knew nothing would matter unless you had a wand that would heal my child. So what could I do? I decided I wanted to offer photography. I know this small gesture doesn’t change their reality. But if this little thing I could do mattered to them, I wanted to do it. Whether it be to document a time in their life when they faced their hardest battle and survived. A constant reminder to be grateful for this irreplaceable life we’ve been given. To remind this child that they could battle anything.
So here I am, part of this amazing organization offering positive energy, prayers and hope for those fighting. I have so much admiration for the strength that they all have. These babies are fighting what I don’t think I’d have the energy to do. And they do it with a smile on their face and so much grace and hope. Alexandria and her family were no exception.
When they contacted me last fall, my heart sank. As much as I wanted to do this for people, I had just met another child with cancer. But then I couldn’t wait to meet her. We couldn’t get the session in until this past spring due to weather. But it was worth the wait. What an incredible family. Alexandria and her sister are just adorable and like any other children. I hope to see Alexandria again in a year and take her photo again to share with you! I would like you to meet them!
Never stop believing and supporting!