It was last fall when Denise first called me and I was all booked up leading into the holidays. She had been referred by some of my favorite friends and clients, the Ryals. Denise decided to wait on the shoot but we got to hang out anyway when she attended the Conquer Your Camera workshop this past Spring. (Registration will be open for the September workshop next week!) Plus, my husband even knows Denise from her stops into our game store on the beach. Needless to say I was excited to finally meet her unique family (SIX children) and shoot the session we had been talking about for almost a year!
In addition to family portraits and individuals of all the kids, we shot a very-mini senior session with the oldest daughter Kayla; you’ll see some of those below. We decided with a family this large and adding in the senior shots that it would be best to save the fun candid time for an entire shoot of it’s own -which sounds pretty much like photography heaven to me- can’t wait!
Kayla has had an unusual few years so I asked Denise if she would mind sharing some of that journey with you. I paraphrased her words here:
Kayla was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma 2.5 years ago at the age of 14. She was very athletic and passionate about volleyball! She went through grueling inpatient chemotherapy for six months, multiple surgeries and countless ICU hospital stays at Arnold Palmer. Eventually Kayla was cancer free but the upper lobe of her right lung had been removed… resulting in serious complications. Doctors were flown in from around the country and a lengthy and scary surgery was on the calendar, for one week after our photo shoot. In fact it would have been happening over the last few days this week. When the pre op results came in on Monday a miracle presented itself. Prayers were answered and there was no more need for surgery! As much as the surgeons had planned this first ever operation of it’s kind, they couldn’t go through with it based on the obvious change in Kayla. Her regular scans also came back free of cancer. Now a senior, Kayla’s excited and hopeful to resume some resemblance of normalcy. Her spirit is amazing and has been – through it all. She’s an inspiration to many! We are overjoyed to have her with us… she is the very best big sister!
Big thanks to Kayla and the Rowell family for sharing their experience with us. I hope that the faith, hope, joy and strength in this family will touch your life today!
Congratulations Kayla on your senior year – HAVE FUN!