Katie emailed me recently asking if I was available to photograph her daughter Sophia who was selected for “Make a wish foundation” (make a donation here) and got a free trip to Hawaii and the Aulani Hotel.
Ever since I started doing photography I’ve wanted to help make a difference in someone’s life and so I felt blessed to have been asked to photograph Sophia and her family.
Sophia was born with all her organs outside of her body. She spent 11months in the PICU, 4months of which she was paralyzed and in a coma. She has had 6 surgeries including open heart surgery. Because of her birth defect, her lungs are very tiny and sick. She has a tracheostomy ( breathing tube in her neck) and is attached to a ventilator ( life support) for 12hrs a day. Her lungs are just so scared and tiny, she can only breathe on her own for 12hrs a day. She also has a feeding tube, as she cannot eat 100% orally. I didn’t know what to expect as I got there, I rarely get nervous before a shoot but this is one time where I felt so nervous because I really wanted to give them photographs that they can look back at and remember that fun trip to Hawaii. I stood there waiting for them at the hotel and being nervous but as soon as they came around the corner of the hotel I was met with the biggest grin from Sophia. I was instantly at ease and so in love with Sophia and her pure energy that she put out. Her laugh and her smile was so uplifting that I couldn’t help but smile the whole time I photographed the family.
I also want to give credit to Katie because she somehow raises this awesome family while taking care of Sophia all by herself. it’s times like this where I reflect about all these challenges that people around the world have and I count my blessings of the life I get to live and this ability that God gave me where I’m able to meet this kind of people.
If you ever felt the need to make a difference but wasn’t sure how then you could always start here at make a wish http://wish.org/ and maybe it will help put a smile on a kids life.