In May 2016, my Husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This was not our family’s first introduction to this illness. The year before, my 16-year old cousin had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s and when I was 9, my mother had it as well. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a well studied cancer that has an extremly positive prognosis, but it is still a cancer and it is still a frightening treatment process and a cure cannot be guaranteed.
Spring of 2016 was a very stressful time for our family. We were unable to make any short term or long term plans, because it was impossible to know how my husband would take the treatments. Would his body be able to retain his strength or would he need frequent hospital visits, would treatments go as planned or be delayed with illness and poor blood counts, would he lose his hair, how bad would the side effects be, could he work, could I work? There are so many questions and not enough answers.
We were fortunate enough to be woven into a community of friends and family who helped us work through that time. One agenda item for us was family photos. We generally had done family photos in the Fall around our son’s birthday, but with so much unknown, my hubby suggested we move those up so that they were done and he was looking like himself. Fortunately, our photographer is also a friend and gave us a compassionate and fun session that we were able to smile all the way through. It didn’t feel like we were taking photos because of the battle we were about to fight, it felt like we were celebrating our family. I will cherish these photos forever because it shows us as the strong, connected, loving group we are and cancer can’t beat that.
I have been searching for a charity to work with, professionally, for quite awhile. When I accidentally stumbled across The Magic Hour Foundation, it was a perfect match. We were so lucky to have the resources to schedule a session in that two week rush of appointments before starting chemotherapy. Everyone should be celebrated, your family and the memories you make are important at every stage of life, and everyone deserves to receive photos that make them feel empowered.
If you know a family that is in need of some joy during this stressful time in their lives, please refer them to the Magic Hour Foundation and they can apply for a free photography session here. I am humbled and honored to be a part of their network of pro bono photographs across the US.