Jayden’s mother, Nicole, requested a session with me a few months ago through The Gold Hope Project. Jayden was diagnosed last September with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, after a trip to the pediatrician and ultimately the emergency room with some bruising and petechiae. Nicole thought she was getting Jayden checked out for anemia, which runs in the family, but was heartbroken to discover that Jayden was fighting a much more difficult battle.
Before his diagnosis, Jayden enjoyed riding dirt bikes and being outside. In his current condition, outside time is limited due to germs and it is not possible for him to ride his dirt bike. Nicole says that they noticed limitations in Jayden’s mobility right away. He was feeling weak and no longer able to run around the way he had before. As we walked through the park for their family portrait session, Jayden told me about his dirt bike and how he wishes he could ride. He really enjoyed being at the park that day, and seeing all the animals that were there. He really showed his personality for pictures. Jayden has so much spunk.
Nicole says that Jayden’s diagnosis and challenges that have come after have really made their family appreciate time together more. She says they are just able to enjoy simple moments like snuggling and watching movies, eating a meal together, or watching the boys play. These everyday moments are all the more special.
When Nicole first told me what she was hoping to capture during this session, her focus was on Jayden and his brother Logan. “We just need one or two family shots,” she said at the beginning of the session. I knew that their family needed more than a couple of family photos from this special fighter session. So during the first half of their session, I took plenty of pictures of Jayden with Logan, wearing their Golden Knights jerseys and posing like tough, James-Bond-like fellas. However, when we moved to our last location in the park, I sat them all down for family cuddles. I asked Nicole to wrap her arms around Jayden and just be. This next image was the result, and was my favorite image from the whole shoot. It just encompasses everything that Nicole had told me about how much she appreciated moments together during this time in their lives. I’m so honored that she allowed me to capture these tender moments for their family.
Family photography by Sarah Beth Chamberlain
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