These Two Brothers

A few months ago, Laura reached out to me. She had a special request for a portrait session. She wanted to celebrate a one year anniversary. A year since one of her sons saved the other one’s life through bone marrow donation.

Rather than posting a few teasers on my Facebook page, I thought these boys and this family needed their story told. And Laura very kindly obliged, when I asked her to tell their tale.

Blake got sick out of the blue on Easter Sunday 2018. Before all of this he was a completely healthy kid. He was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. He probably got a virus and his body went crazy and started attacking his liver. About 6 months later whatever was attacking his liver started attacking his bone marrow. He was diagnosed with hepatitis induced aplastic anemia and had to have a bone marrow transplant. He needed to have a sibling match in order to go that route. Both his twin sister and younger brother were tested and his brother was a complete match. There is about a 25% chance for a sibling match. Jack was more than ready and willing to do this. On December 10, 2018 Jack came to the hospital for the bone marrow harvest and Blake got his cells that day. Blake is now 1 year post transplant and is doing wonderful! We see more and more of Blake’s normal personality every day.

I wanted to have these pictures done to show the significance of what Jack did for Blake and to truly capture the bond they will forever have. We also surprised our family with the pictures and gave it to them at a party to celebrate Blake’s one year anniversary.

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When I arrived for their portrait session, I was greeted by three smiling kiddos: Super Hero and bone marrow donor, Jack; curly-haired, big brother to Jack, twin to Ashlyn, marrow recipient, and Survivor, Blake; and Ashlyn, Jack’s big sister and Blake’s twin. All three were ready for their close-ups (even Ashlyn, who was fresh from her soccer game.)

Super Hero, Jack

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Super Survivor, Blake

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We had a few giggles and made a whole bunch of awesome.

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This was one of those wonderful days.

-Lindsey

Christmas Eve at the Ronald McDonald House

The Christmas/Holiday season is my most favorite time of the year. And one of my absolute favorite things to do during this time is to visit the Ronald McDonald House on Christmas Eve. It is a privilege to capture families coming together to celebrate the season. Some residents, some volunteers, some employees; all together to share the season with “strangers.”

Every Christmas Eve, one HUGE group of family members and friends team up to cook, bake, and provide one heckuva tasty dinner. The Hoeh family has been providing Christmas Eve dinner for the House in honor of the late matriarch’s son, who stayed at the House while he battled cancer. I believe this year marked their 20th Christmas Eve dinner.

Following dinner, the House kiddos spend some time with Santa and Mrs. Claus and receive their very own sacks of Christmas presents.

Trust me when I say that pictures do not do the evening justice. But please enjoy a small taste of the magic that is Christmas Eve at the Ronald McDonald House.

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Mind the delay as I wish you all Season’s Greetings and wish you a Happy New Year!

-Lindsey