where do i start? i’m not quite sure how to articulate my experience with this family this morning. being at a loss for words is not something i normally struggle with ((insert my husband throwing out an amen here – ha!))
a few weeks ago i was have a rough day. i had made a decision that was not easy for me to make, but it was with my family at heart. i believe i was judged unfairly and some people had some harsh and untrue things to say. wallowing in it a bit, i sat at my computer feeling down. i was surfing the web and came across a story about a family from dallas. a family that has overcome a whole lot. a family that is fighting for life.
alex began having shortness of breath on his 27th birthday (2001) and soon discovered he had cardiac angiosarcoma – better known as heart cancer. at the time, he was the eighth documented patient to be diagnosed with this type of cancer. with surgery and chemo, he beat it. then, in 2006, the cancer came back, but he was able to beat it once again. he’s had three open heart surgeries, the tumors removed twice and his heart rebuilt both times. unfortunately, alex’s cancer is back and this time is not operable.
i instantly felt silly. my problem was not big. it didn’t matter at all. it was silly and trivial and in the big scheme of things, other peoples judgments didn’t change who i am or the people i love. cancer has touched our lives, my father-in-law beat kidney cancer last year….our good friends are fighting a cancer battle ((and they will win))…..alex’s story tugged at my heart. i read on about this family and the benefit that would be held in austin to help them. i instantly contacted one of the people working on the benefit and offered to photograph the family free of charge when they came to austin. we went back and forth and i’m soooo glad we worked out the details and timing. it took some coordinating and location scouting, but we even worked it out so that many of those that came to austin to support alex and his family could participate in their session. their benefit was a huge success, i wish i could have been there. i really wanted to be, but i was working. we met up this morning before they left town and before we starting shooting, i asked them what they wanted the most out of our time together. alex looked at me and said “all the inbetween moments”……ahhh, that’s what i love the most too. and i’m happy to say, we caught many of them. i will have more to share over the coming weeks, but i pulled just one today that makes me smile…..
alex is one of the American Cancer Society’s 28 survivors in the Hero of Hope class of 2009. he is involved in reaching out to others to battle cancer, and with his help I will be sharing some information on the foundations close to his heart in the coming days.
(((it was wonderful to meet you today, to photograph your love for one another. you have an appreciation of each moment and an attitude that inspires me. alex, i can easily say you are one of the most amazing people i’ve met. thank you for letting me capture a few of those precious moments today for your beautiful family, it was an honor.)))