An angel came down from heaven yesterday; she stayed long enough just to rescue me.
Angel~ Wood Brothers
As I sat in my car before my session on Saturday, I felt nervous…really nervous. My brain was a jumbled mess of questions. What if I mess this up? What if I start to cry and I can’t see to shoot. What if she hates me and wants me to leave? I text my friend and she reassures me that I am the perfect person for this. I got this…okay…okay…
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, walked inside and all at once the ball of fear I had been carrying dissolves like a snowflake. Her home envelops me with love like a huge invisible hug. It is light and sunny…warm. I am greeted with smiles and laughter and a big wet kiss from Zena the wonder dog. As I scan the room I see her…oh my, she is beautiful. Her big brown eyes look directly at me with the curiosity that every three-year old possesses. I offer her a small gift of a toy horse. Then she smiles at me and I am completely lost…smitten.
She is Angel, miracle baby, fighter and stealer of my heart. Angel was diagnosed at 5 months old with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). According to the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, SMA is the #1 genetic killer of infants and young children. There is no treatment and there is no cure. SMA is degenerative, eventually hindering the ability to walk, stand, eat speak, breath and swallow however the mind is never impacted. Children diagnosed with SMA are not expected to live past the age of two but Angel has defied the odds and just celebrated her third birthday. She is bright, sassy and has a smile that will melt your heart. She loves the things that all little girls love; fairies and princesses, and she has a fantastic collection of tiny figurines.
I was first introduced to Angel and her parents Mary and Terry Young by way of another local photographer and friend of mine, Sarah Hester of SSH Photography. Sarah had asked me to join her and several other local photographers in a movement called the Olivia Act. This cause asks photographers to donate a session at no cost to family whose circumstances wouldn’t ordinarily allow them to do so. A family friend nominated the Young family and I was selected to photograph them. You can follow Angel’s progress on the facebook page her mother set up Prayers for Angel and her fight with SMA.
The session went smoothly and we were even blessed with an unusually warm day in March so we could step outside for a few shots. It was perfect…just perfect. I am forever changed.