June 23, 2011 | Posted by By Susan Campbell, Health Reporte
BOARDMAN, Ohio- Ryan Encinas is a three year old ball of energy, and watching him ham it up for the camera, you'd never know how sick the little boy has been.
"It was very dire in the beginning," said his mom, Angela Bozic. "The tumor he had was about the size of a football inside of his chest. His left lung was collapsed completely. His trachea was bent, and his heart was smashed into his right lung." Doctors were able to remove the tumor, and now Ryan is undergoing 36 weeks of intense chemotherapy. It's something he can't escape, even at his Flashes of Hope photo shoot.
"We're getting a child through their journey," explains Flashes of Hope co-director, Sandra Montgomery. "We're showing their strength. We're showing their will and their hope."
Montgomery founded the Akron chapter of Flashes of Hope after her son, Brian, passed away.
"We were on our way to a photo shoot in Cleveland because Akron didn't have a chapter," said Mongomery. "He got sick in the car and we never made it. I didn't want other parents to not make it to a photo shoot."
Every month, Flashes of Hope volunteers set up shop on the oncology floor at Akron Children's Hospital.
"Our mission is to photograph every child with cancer until every child is cured," said co-director, Jennifer Greulich.
Since 2006, the chapter has photographed more than 300 children. "This really means a lot to me. Just to show his progress through all of this, he's been amazing," said Bozic. Photos are free for families. It takes about 10-thousand dollars a year to run each chapter.
For more information, visit www.flashesofhope.org
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