I am blessed to have photographed this “LITTLE MAN” 3 times now in the last 11 months. Not only do these little guys grow up fast, its so fun to capture them in all types of different settings, and to be able to see how much they have grown since the last shoot; I just LOVE IT!
Shooting in Seattle these last few months have made it extremely tough to schedule shoots in this non-stop rain we have been having. However, today is the “1st day of summer” so, hopefully our luck is changing (fingers crossed)! We did get lucky on this day of the shoot, we took the ferry, and headed over to Whidbey Island, where Katie’s in-laws live right on the beach! (One of my favorite places to shoot!)
Katie & Jerry, William’s Mommy and Daddy, met on a blind date, and dated for four months, and then Katie was diagnosed with Cancer, and was literally on her death bed at the time. Doctors told Jerry to say his good byes, and he stood right by her side, and 15 years later they are still going strong! They have been married for 5 years, but have been together for 15! Katie is a 4-time Liver Cancer Survivor, and I wanted to tell her story.
Katie was diagnosed in 97’ a week after her 25th birthday. She had a 4-½ inch tumor on her liver – a rare form of Liver Cancer at her age, and it was at stage four. The doctors did not understand it, when they went to do a biopsy, it was terribly bad, and they punctured the tumor spreading the cancer everywhere. She lost a lot of blood during the surgery, and they could not keep up trying to put more blood into her. She actually died on the table during surgery. The doctors then had to take out half of her liver, and part of her diaphragm. After the surgery her family was told she would not live, and to be prepared to say goodbye. But she proved them wrong! After a month in the hospital, and months later of going through chemo, it didn’t work. The cancer didn’t go away, and kept growing. Katie then had another surgery in 98′ and the list of things that the tumor had wrapped around again was so very long. Another year past, and yet again the surgery didn’t work. The doctors then tried something different, an experimental procedure. They injected the tumor with alcohol. It’s called An Ethanol (alcohol) Embolization. Believe it or not, it worked! The tumors have died, and it has not come back! It was an experiment that has saved her life. Because of research, she had a number of experimental procedures from the PET scan to the surgeries. She is alive because of the research, and the funding for cancer. Katie helped raise money for the American Cancer Society, and then got very involved with the LIVESTRONG Foundation. You can get find out more information and get involved here at http://www.livestrong.org/ She has raised over $50,000 herself over the last 5 years, and continues to get the word out there. She actually met Lance Armstrong with all the fundraising she has done. Your a ROCKSTAR girl! WOWZA….just writing parts of your story makes me tear up!
And now for “William”, their “MIRACLE BABY” of course… He is 18 months old, and is just a sweet little charmer. Every ball is a “BASKETBALL”! He loves John Deer tractors, baths, chasing around his dog “Ruff Ruff.” (Ellie Brown) William is always on the go, climbing, and chatting up a storm 🙂 He has the cutest laugh, amazing smile, and is such a darling “LITTLE MAN”.
Here is a SLIDESHOW of some of my favs!
This what LITTLE WILLIAM thinks of his Mommy having CANCER:
And, this is what he thinks now of his MOMMY! 🙂
Thank you so much Katie! I enjoyed every second with both of you, just as I always do. You are an inspiration to me, and many others! You are such a fighter, one of the best cheerleaders I know, and you always have a “SMILE” on your face no matter what. I’m so thankful to have you as one of my dear friends!
XO! Rachelle 🙂
P.S. Extra special thanks to Nana, and Grandpa for letting us use your gorgeous house and yard. Next time I’m bringing my dog to join in all the FUN! 😉 Loved your dogs too!!! 🙂