CANCER. What does this word mean to you? It is one of the most hated, devastating diseases in our lives. We all know someone who is dear to us that is affected by this horrible disease. How do people find hope when they are told they have cancer? Beyond stigma that comes with this diagnosis, how do people survive emotionally, physically and financially?
It is truly beyond my imagination what this diagnosis does to people that I love and their families. What is even more mysterious to me is that every single one of my friends who've had or are currently battling cancer is amazingly strong, hopeful and positive. Their outlook on life is insanely beautiful. Watching, listening and spending time with them is like watching a astonishingly beautiful, tiny flower in fire, delicately fluttering in heat haze and flickering amber, yet never getting burned. God's strongest people. That is what I think of when I hear the word "cancer".
My friend Jenni is one of God's strongest people. She was diagnosed with mucoepidermoid carcinoma, "a parotid (salivary) gland tumor gone terribly awry" in her words, on June 7th, 2010. She was 27 years old. She started to blog about her journey and said, "I remain true to myself. I am full of joy and hopefulness for what is yet to come in my extraordinary life." Her positive attitude was so incredible, it inspired many of us in so many different ways. "Inspiration" seems so platitudinous against the real life challenges Jenni was facing, but her positive attitude and zest for life encouraged me. She went through surgery, chemo, radiation and triumphed like God's strongest people.
But then, the cancer came back.
This time, the doctors told her that they will have to cut through her facial nerve and that she will be paralyzed on one side of her face for good, and that only one side of her face will "smile".
Jenni scheduled the surgery, but it will not be covered by her insurance because it is a recurrence of her original cancer. She is under a pre-existing clause and so she will start receiving bills for 100% of the scans, 10 day hospital stay and laborious surgical procedure.
Then a week before her surgery, Jenni was informed that she was being laid off after her medical leave was over.
What do we do when our dear friend or family is trampled by life's challenges like this? How are we equipped to do something? Well, God gave each of us gift, so I want to help raise money for Jenni by using my gift. I thought about how to do this, and here's my proposal to you:
SMILES FOR JENNI PROJECT
From today to May 4, 2013, you will get a special flat rate of $50 for your head shot, family portrait or life style portrait by mentioning "SMILES FOR JENNI PROJECT" when you schedule your shoot. 100% of the proceeds from this special fee goes to Jenni to support her medical bills. The special fee includes 2 best shots from each shoot. After the shoots, I will upload your photos as an individual client album on my website. You can download the digital file(s), and also order prints or products from the professional labs that are seamlessly integrated on my site, if you would like. CONTACT ME to schedule your shoot today!
Visit Jenni's blog to know more about her and her incredible journey, and please help me help Jenni. Your smiles captured is a way for us to help Jenni smile!
Read update on Jenni's AMAZING story here: http://www.breathoflifedaily.com/2013/04/im-still-here.html?m=1