As with most mission friends, we didn't keep in super close contact after coming home other than mission reunions and, to my surprise, a photo shoot for his company on which I assisted. We have since caught up on life every year at these shoots and mission reunions. Two weeks ago we did another shoot for his company and I was looking forward to catching up. But no Wes, Rob his cousin and co-worker, told me what was going on.
A while back someone noticed a spot he went in to find out it was melanoma, cancer. So being the fighter he is, he started treatments as quickly as possible. You see, this isn't Wes's first fight. Wes is a received a heart transplant as a 9 year old. So it's not in his nature to get down about this kinda thing. So now, close to a year after the initial cancer was found, he and his family get another shock to find out it is now stage 4 and has spread to his lung. which his immune suppressing medications for his heart make all that much more complex.
Like I mentioned before I have known about this for a couple of weeks now and it has weighed heavily on my mind. You see, our family has gone the rounds with cancer ourselves. My brother-in-law and father-in-law both passed before I had the chance to meet them. My mother has fought breast cancer as well. So this hits close to home. Wes is an amazing guy, a dedicated father, and loyal friend. Being a father myself I can only imagine what the prospect of what he is facing feels like.
I am sure you can relate on some level, my buddy is fighting for his life, and all he has on his mind is his wife and kids, and here I am thinking, "What can I do?". Well, I am just one guy and there isn't much is what I keep thinking and then it hits me.
So here is the deal folks - I'm on a mission to help Wes's family. For the next month I am setting aside all new work in order to do just that. From October 20th 2015 - November 20th 2015 I want to photograph as many family sessions as humanly possible. ALL of the fees collected for these shoots will go directly to the Hill family. My goal is to donate $10,000. It is lofty I know, but I don't think I need to tell you what a difference we can make for this family.
The truth is, we don't know how long Wes has but I am hoping years and years. Years to watch, teach, and raise his kiddos up but the bottom line is we really don't know. Due to his heart condition he has never been able to qualify for life insurance, and my hope is to help in some way and this is the only way I know how and I hope to have your help.
I just want to say one last thing about family here, and this is just off the cuff but to me, family is the most important thing in the world. My wife and kids mean everything to me. I am so grateful for my faith, the strength it gives me, and the knowledge that families can be forever. That one day I will see my oldest again. I would do anything for my family and I know Wes would as well. The reason I love photographing families so much is each one is different and I get to show the light, love, and joy in your family. Even if your youngest is screaming and crying through the whole session - and yes it happens folks - but it just adds to it! Thats my job to show, your love for one another.
So if you are ready to get in front of my lens and help Wes and his family out, click here to get all of the details. If you guys have any questions drop me line.