Flashes of Hope, a session creating smiles with cancer survivors

25% of the children photographed with Flashes of Hope do not survive. 3 out of 4 childhood cancer survivors have long-term chronic illness. 40% have severe illness or die from illnesses such as secondary cancer. 7,000 Child cancer survivors will smile at a Flashes of Hope Session this year. Chris and I will, once again, have the great opportunity of working with the Flashes of Hope organization next weekend.  Last summer we photographed child cancer survivors at Camp Quality near Lake Ann, Michigan. We were approached by Flashes of Hope and gladly accepted the invitation. Chris and I, along with 2 fellow area photographers showed up not knowing what to expect. Approximately 50 cancer surviving children were staying at the camp and they were divided up between the four of us to shoot. I was so happy to get to work with this group of children. They had the nicest personalities and the most beautiful smiles. Flashes of Hope is an organization that changes the way cancer children see themselves. They work closely with their partners to fund lab research of rare and underfunded pediatric cancers. They also support clinical research in local hospitals through the work of the Children’s Oncology Group. You can learn more about this organization by visiting the website.  I’m so glad to be a small part of helping children with cancer smile. Aren’t they beautiful?

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2013 Brew Festival in Traverse City, MI

Some of you may think that I don’t have a personal life, because as you know, my work takes up pretty much every free minute of my day. You’ll be surprised to find that I do, indeed, find some fun time by combining work and play. This month I headed up to the Brew Festival in downtown Traverse City as a volunteer photographer. I was able to drink beer and get some amazing shots of some bands playing in the festival. The Crane Wives were my main reasoning for shooting. They’re a Grand Rapids band of five that are incredibly talented. My sister, Katie, is one of the two lead vocalists of the band. Check out their music and you’ll see what everyone’s raving about. They took home three awards in the Grand Rapids Jammies for Listeners Choice, Song of the year, and album of the year. Boy am I proud!

This year was the fourth annual Brew Festival and my first time attending. I was pleasantly surprised with some of the yummy local beers they had to offer. Props to one of my absolute local faves Left Foot Charlie who offered warm cider beer. YUM. I may have missed out on some other beers I could have been trying while I went back to their tent a couple times…. The festival consists of many local bands, even more local brews, and a whole lot of bundled of people seeking out great music and beer. I hope to come back year after year.

Always fun hanging with my sister and her band mates. They may just be the coolest band around. Wait- no! They ARE the coolest band around. http://thecranewives.com/site/ All of the bands in attendance for the Brew Fest were amazing! I’m so glad I could be a part of the day!

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