"Flashes of Hope" for Children with Cancer on Norfolk's NBC affiliate WAVY-TV 10

April 06, 2008  |  Posted by Stephanie Harris

Several mothers of cancer patients have discovered that when the camera starts flashing some courageous kids come out of their shells. "They enjoy getting the make-up on and feel like a prince or a princess for awhile," said Melia Trost, Chapter Director of Flashes of Hope. It can be especially rewarding for the teenage girls, who tend to have the hardest time with their changing looks. 15 year-old Alana Drummond may feel it even more then most. Alana started modeling in New York last fall. Her portfolio is full of glamorous photos taken during fashion week. "I got to wear a $20,000 dresses. Oh my gosh, that was amazing," said Alana. Just weeks after these pictures were snapped, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She began radiation and a regimen of steroids that caused her to gain 40 pounds. No one recognized her. "One of my friends, she came up and said, 'You look like a friend named Alana,' which was so weird because it was me. They didn't recognize me. Nobody could," said Alana. Alana's mother, Angelique worried the change would devastate her daughter, but it didn't. Instead it made her even more beautiful on the inside. "Her teacher asked, 'What's the best thing that's ever happened to you?' and she said it was her brain tumor because it's made her care about other people a lot more than ever before," said Angelique. To her mother, these new photos of Alana are even more beautiful then any in the portfolio. "Every time I look at her I say what a beautiful girl she is inside and out," Angelique said. Flashes of Hope is a national program. Professional photographers donate their time and local chapters raise money to pay for the photographs. For more information, click on Links in the News on

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