Wow…I knew this post would be difficult, but in sitting down to try to write it I’m finding that is almost impossible to get started. I guess I’ll just start at the beginning, the first time that I heard of this inspiring and lovely family. It was during the winter, maybe February or so, and I was sick. So sick that for the first time in my life I completely lost my voice. I.could.not.talk.at.all. My hubby and I were sitting on the couch enjoying our quite evening (both because the kiddos were tucked into bed and I had no voice!) and watching the news. A story about a little girl and her fight with cancer came on and my remote-wielding, tivo-loving husband started to fast forward through it, sensing it would be very sad. I on the other hand wanted to watch it, but being that I couldn’t tell him to let it play I grabbed the remote from his hand and hit the button myself. For the following few minutes we both sat there speechless as we watched a heart wrenching story about a beautiful little girl named Allison, who at only17 months old, lost her battle with a rare form of leukemia. When the piece ended I sat there in silence with tears streaming down my face. I looked over at my husband, who was of course also saddened by her story, at which point he said “thanks for making me watch that” in an oh-so-sarcastic tone. But you know what? I’m glad that I made him watch it. I’m glad that I watched it.
I was so upset that I couldn’t contain my tears. I’m not sure why a story about complete strangers shook me the way it did, but for the next couple of days I couldn’t stop thinking about Allison and her family. I decided to check on the news channel’s website to see if I could find a link to learn more about them, and I did. I found a link to their blog and read through it crying uncontrollably once again. Hardly able to see my computer screen I remembered something they had said at the end of the news segment. They said that Nicole, Allison’s mom, was told that it would be unlikely for her to be able to have any other children because of medical problems that she suffers from. Even though this was the case she did become pregnant again, and she and her husband were expecting another child, a girl, who was due in the summer.
I’m not typically one to reach out to complete strangers, but somehow after reading their blog, hearing their story, and feeling such pain at the very thought of their loss, somehow they no longer felt like strangers. I decided to contact Nicole and offer to photograph their new daughter once she was born. I really thought that I probably wouldn’t receive a reply, and that she would most likely think it was strange that I would even offer given that we didn’t know each other. But she did reply! And she was thrilled with my offer…and I am thrilled that she accepted 🙂
Meet Caroline…Allison’s beautiful little sister and her kind and lovely parents…
Nicole’s orange bow is in honor and memory of Allison. I think it is perfectly placed in this photograph.
Although their story is sad, it brings about promise and hope. Hope of new life and lives saved by their beautiful daughter Allison, and her brave battle with cancer. Almost 2,000 people have been inspired by her story and joined the National Bone Marrow registry in her honor. Out of the over 13 million people on the registry, there was one perfect match for Allison. ONE. Unfortunately her disease took over and she was unable to receive her transplant. But maybe YOU could be the one perfect match for someone else. If you would like more information about becoming a donor please visit http://www.marrow.org/. And, if you would like to honor Allison’s memory and become a donor you can do so by visiting http://www.marrow.org/JOIN/Join_Now_Sponsored/join_now_sponsored.html. Follow the onscreen instructions and enter promo code: AllisonsGift when prompted. This link allows you to share the gift of life free of charge and will be valid through August 31st.
Personally, until this morning I had been hemming and hawing over whether or not I should sign up myself. But in reading Nicole’s blog about Allison again to get a little background info for this post I saw that Allison’s middle name was Danielle. Is it a coincidence? Probably, but maybe…just maybe it is a sign. A sign that I am the ONE perfect match for someone out there. Or maybe the fact that you just happend to stumble upon this post today it is a sign that YOU are the ONE.
To Nicole and Shaun: Caroline is perfect and it has been such a blessing to meet you guys and be able to capture this special time in your lives. I hope that these images bring a much deserved smile to your faces! Thank you for allowing me to share your story!