March 19, 2008 | Posted by Megan Rounds, PR/Marketing, Presbyterian Healthcar
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Photos are natural keepsakes that remind us of special times in our lives. Though happy times are commonly documented, rarely does it occur to us to create photo memories of times of sickness and sadness. A nonprofit group called Flashes of Hope is working to change that, however, and today a handful of critically ill children at Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital will pose for pictures that capture them in the essence of living.
Flashes of Hope, founded in Ohio in 2001, exists to create uplifting portraits of children fighting cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. For patients, it helps them feel better about their changing appearance by celebrating it. For parents, it preserves the bravery, grace and dignity of their child. Over the past seven years the nonprofit has spread to 20 hospitals, with another 14 scheduled to open in 2008. Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital is among the first to open this year and is the only Flashes of Hope hospital in the Charlotte area.
"We are ecstatic that Flashes of Hope has made its way to Charlotte," said Jenny Lautemann, child life coordinator at Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital. "We see the beauty in our patients, but sometimes it is hard for them to see it in themselves, especially after being in the hospital for several days."
Flashes of Hope is made possible by local leadership and outreach. Bev Neely Bruce serves as the volunteer chapter director in Charlotte and has solicited the help of numerous local professional photographers and stylists to staff the monthly photo shoots at Presbyterian. Each family who participates in the photo shoot receives a proof set, bound book with two 8x10 enlargements and photo CD at no charge.
"The recruiting has been easy," remarked Bruce. "Everyone I have talked to is honored to be part of something so great."
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