Children with cancer are smiling today at a Flashes of Hope shoots. Our dedicated volunteer chapter directors coordinate photo shoots within the nation's top hospitals and at special events for children with cancer. Whether photographing one child isolated in a bone marrow unit or a hundred kids having fun at summer camp, it's an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.
It was June 2008 when my mom passed away from cancer. Things were bad but about to get much worse. Six months later, our son James was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. I was searching for answers on the internet and came across Flashes of Hope. As a photographer for nearly 25 years I knew the importance of quality portraits. I wanted to start an Albany, NY chapter but with so much going on in my life, I didn't get around to taking the first step. After nearly a year of treatments James was in remission and life was great. Then 3 years later our son had a reoccurrence. Our nightmare began all over again with the chemo, the radiation, the surgeries, the transfusions, the hospital stays, the scans and the weight drop. My mother-in-law clipped a newspaper story titled "Faith will sustain us through our darkest days" by Joe Kennedy of Tonawanda NY. Joe, who had a granddaughter diagnosed with leukemia, wrote that God is more interested in changing our activities, then in changing our circumstances. That sentence was going through my head every day for weeks. Joe Kennedy was correct, this was the stage in my life to change my activities and find the time to start an Albany Chapter of Flashes of Hope. The people that I have met while launching this chapter are some of the most genuine, caring, and sincere people in the world. Opening this chapter to try to give back in a small way has become my passion. James is in remission for a second time, and life is even better.
The children often request to be photographed with special friends – in this case a stuffed bunny. Children are also photographed with parents, siblings, hospital staff and even fellow patients. This sweet image was captured at All Children's Hospital in Tampa, Florida.