One evening in late September, I received a message from a friend on Facebook inquiring about a mutual friend. “Has Demi posted anything about her mom?”
Immediately my heart sank.
I’d later find out that night that Demi, a former volleyball player of mine when I coached at Gilbert Early College, had lost her mom.
And not just unexpectedly. Tragically, to domestic violence.
She and her sister’s are not only having to come to grips with the murder of their mom, but they are having to deal with the emotional trauma of having witnessed it.
Last year when I held mini sessions for a dear friend with breast cancer, we raised $900 for her and her son. (See that one here —> Red Lips Campaign)
Now, I’m asking you all to do it again for Demi and her sisters. On top of funeral expenses, they’ve had the cost of moving to a new home, grief counseling and everything in between. If you haven’t already contributed, now is your chance (and get some fancy pictures in return).
Here’s what you need to know:
There are 8 spots available
Mini sessions are for up to 6 people
Each session is 15 minutes
Every participant will receive a style guide via email
You’ll receive 10 images in an online gallery with rights to print
DATE: December 9, 2017 TIME: 2:15-5:00 LOCATIONS: East Mesa (location will be given to participants) COST: $150 (bring cash or check to your session)
Roseanna was one of my first friends I made after I started my first job just out of college. If you know her, that probably doesn’t surprise you, she’s so friendly and makes you feel like you’re the funniest person in the world because she’s always laughing. We’ve shared lots of memories over the short 7 years we’ve known each other. I was her son’s second grade teacher, I excitedly text her throughout the night Ryan proposed to me and she stood next to me as he and I said our vows.
When she told me that she had a very vicious form of breast cancer, it took me a few days of tears and prayer to process the news. My mind was immediately thinking, what can I do? The first thing that came to my mind was a photo session for her and Andrew before…before it all started. The Sunday before her first on 9 surgeries, we met at Nichols Park in Gilbert for a very special mother son session. That week her story took an unexpected turn when infection set in after her double mastectomy. Chemo was supposed to start right away but was postponed time after time because the infection would not go away.
In the middle of all of this, on a week that she felt well enough, we went to dinner. She told me everything that had been happening and what she and her son were going through. People were generously supporting her on Go Fund Me and friends stepped up to pay her deductibles. Community is amazing isn’t it? That night, she and I planned to have a special photo session fundraiser for her in the fall. I first opened up 5 spots and in four hours they were full and I still had people wanting to book so I had to open it up to a second day and within a few days, all 10 spots were full. I’ve done fundraisers like this before. I’ve seen them done by other photographers and not one has been as successful as this one. It was amazing to sit back and watch the people make a stand to support someone they didn’t even know. In this whole crazy world we have going on right and people with their opinions blaring louder than the one next to them, it was really nice to be in a little bubble with everyone doing something good. Doing something that mattered. Reflecting hope.
I had my husband hang around a take a little video of each family to put together to show Roseanna (who was at home recovering from surgery number 9…and the flu). At the end of each session, each of the families had a little something to say to Roseanna and Roo.