Yesterday was incredible! We raised over $2,300 dollars in one day for our crowdfunding campaign to honor Skylar and remember the anniversary of her death 5 years ago. Yesterday, I was able to share more about my story, but today, I want to focus on someone else's story. Nicolette is one of our Love Not Lost family members who applied for a portrait session and asked for a "forever memory" for her son after finding out she had stage 4 cancer.
The first time we spoke on the phone, I could tell Nicolette was an incredibly strong woman. She told me about her mom getting diagnosed with breast cancer, and then two months later, facing the same diagnosis herself. She had a mastectomy and a full hysterectomy in the course of a year, and was in remission. Five months later, the cancer came back in her lungs. Almost a year later, she had a seizure, which is when they found tumors on her brain. She's in her mid 30s and has an 8 year old son with autism. You'd think after all of this, someone would be beat down, but Nicolette's attitude on life is inspiring. Not only is she living life and enjoying it with her family, but she is helping other women in her area who are going through similar situations.
Nicolette's son, Ivan, and her fiance, Frank, love the outdoors, so we wanted to make sure our session was outside. We also took some pictures at the house, which is what brought Frank and Nicolette together, and where they enjoy hanging out. We planned our session for when Ivan was out of school and were lucky to have a weekend with good weather too!
If you follow us on social media, you may have seen two photos of them already. What I love about photography is the ability to capture emotion, relationships, and the ability to freeze moments in time. Looking at this family, there is no doubt they are overflowing with joy and love. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard during a session! Ivan, Nicolette's son, is one of the funniest kids I've met. His dry sense of humor was cracking me up so much a few of my pictures came out blurry because I was shaking from laughter.
Ivan was cracking jokes, sharing how he didn't have to impress me at all because even though I was a new guest, I was not someone he was going to marry. He did draw me a picture though, which I cherish tremendously. He played it cool, would flash me a smirk, and then would give me his huge cheese face for the photos. We played with the pets on the porch, Ivan showed me how fast he can ride his bike, and then we took off to the corn fields for sunset. I hope you smile as much as I do when looking through these memories...
This family has a long journey ahead. If you want to read more of their personal story and donate directly to them, please visit their support page on Go Fund Me.
We are so excited to get their book into their hands. Thank you to all who have donated to Love Not Lost thus far. Your generosity has enabled us to fly to CT for this session to preserve memories for this incredible family. Thank you for celebrating life and love with us in the face of grief. We have several more families across the nation who are waiting for sessions and will keep you posted when we're able to serve them.
If you haven't supported Love Not Lost yet, we have a crowdfunding campaign going on through the month of August so we can raise money to help us photograph more families and build our network of photographers. Please consider joining our cause by donating money or sharing our story with those you know. Thank you!