When I began photography several years ago, I knew I wanted to find some way to give of my time to be a blessing and gift to others. One way I do that is as a volunteer photographer for The Gold Hope Project.
Their website says it best: “We are a group of photographers aiming to gift families battling a pediatric cancer diagnoses free portrait session for their little warriors. Many families with ill children are emotionally, physically and financially strapped; it is the heart of The Gold Hope Project to take at least one worry off their shoulders and gift them something magical – the smiles of their children frozen in time. The Gold Hope Project’s goal is to make sure that these already over-burdened families have an everlasting documentation of the joy and whimsy of their children while simultaneously raising awareness of and funds for pediatric oncology research and treatment.” Upon first hearing the mission behind The Gold Hope Project I knew without a doubt I wanted to join the force.
I applied last December, was accepted as a volunteer several weeks later, and in July I got my first fighter request regarding Myles, a little guy diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia. It is an extremely rare disease, not cancer but close and the treatments are very similar. He has gone through bone marrow biopsies, chemo, and bone marrow transplants. When we met for his session, it took a little bit for him to warm up to me but once he did that kid smiled, laughed, and brought so much joy to the entire session.
Not only was Myles a total joy to work with, but his entire family showed such strength and resilience even in the midst of the hardest thing they’ve faced. “Myles is so strong. He inspires me everyday. I am upset this has happened to us however at the same time I am grateful. This has brought us as a family closer. Closer to each other and closer to our faith. This is by far the hardest thing we have been through as a family and I know we will one day look back at this and smile. Because we did it!!”
For more information about Myles, you can check out the blog post on The Gold Hope Project’s website can be found here.