BRAYDEN | Photographed by Patrick Schneider

Columbus
chapter

founded November 2007
kids photographed to date 829

donate

go
In the fall of 2006 I was at a company meeting in Cleveland, Ohio. On Friday of that week we were told we could wear jeans for a $5.00 donation to a local non-profit organization, Flashes of Hope. Later that day we learned about Flashes of Hope and I knew instantly that I... { more }
In the fall of 2006 I was at a company meeting in Cleveland, Ohio. On Friday of that week we were told we could wear jeans for a $5.00 donation to a local non-profit organization, Flashes of Hope. Later that day we learned about Flashes of Hope and I knew instantly that I had found the path I was meant to take. I spent my entire 2-hour drive home talking to my husband about Flashes of Hope and how we had to do something in Columbus, Ohio. The following Monday morning I picked up the phone and called the national office to see about volunteering at an upcoming photo shoot. I was shocked when I was told that Columbus did not have a chapter. When I asked why, I was told that there was not a Chapter Director. My response to that was "now there is". Due to the support of The Columbus Blue Jacket Foundation we were able to get the chapter up and running very quickly. At the time, we only had one child, a little girl, and I couldn't imagine what I would do if she were to ever get hurt, sick or diagnosed with that terrible disease called "CANCER". My husband and I now have 4 children and not a day goes by that I don't say thanks for the health of my family.

When we first started the Columbus Chapter, we had never met a child with cancer. People always ask me what my personal connection to pediatric cancer is. All I can say is that I would hope that if my family were ever faced with such a battle, that someone would do something nice for us. Families that we have photographed over the 6 years have thanked me countless times, but I am the one who is thankful to have had the opportunity to meet so many heroes! I have learned how resilient children are and they have taught me so much about life.

As I prepared myself for that first photo shoot, I believed that it would be very sad. While there are times that it is sad, there is a lot of happiness too! We took pictures of one little girl 11 months in a row until she passed away. Her mother was so thankful to have the last year of her life documented by our beautiful pictures. In some she had hair, then no hair, then she was swollen from the medicine, then her hair started growing back, then she started to look less swollen, the next month she looked like she was feeling better and then slowly you could tell that she wasn't getting better. No matter what she looked like, there was one common factor, her smile. It never changed and her mother will forever have those pictures. The teenage years are already so awkward that I can't imagine having cancer and being a teenager.

I remember one girl who was in high school and had lost all of her long beautiful hair. She came to the shoot with her dad and her head was wrapped in a scarf. Our stylists asked her if she wanted to take it off and her dad immediately answered for her saying "she never takes it off". We all saw how gorgeous she was and with a few words of encouragement she decided to take it off. When she did, our jaws dropped because of her beauty both inside and out. Several months later I saw her dad and he thanked me because since that day she had not worn her scarf again. He told me that we made her feel pretty again!

Being a part of Flashes of Hope has given me the opportunity to make some amazing friends, both young and old. I've learned that life is so precious and that you should make the most of any situation. I always joke that I will have to be kicked out of my position. Last year, I lost my job after 11 years. After a few tears, something hit me. I immediately picked up the phone and called Allison Clarke and told her that I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grow up a Flashes girl!

Chapter Director(s)

Amanda Johnson
[ bio ]
Amanda Johnson
Joe Johnson
[ bio ]
Joe Johnson

Chapter Information

614-283-9849

Shoot Locations

Nationwide Children's Hospital
Kids 'n Kamp

Chapter Sponsor

Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation

2017 Big Shots & Little Stars Sponsorships Available Now more

Sponsor Big Shots Little Stars 2017, and you’ll be in distinguished company. Our supporters include CEOs from Fortune 500 companies, rising entrepreneurs and dedicated philanthropists.

Spread the wordgo

Send a personal appeal to your friends and family.

FORM