winning family :: minneapolis child photographer

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and were able to spend some time with family and loved ones. I took some time off from my work to gather with family, spend time with the kids, work on some (major) house projects, splash at the water park, play Santa Claus, and sleep in. Now the kids are back at school, swimming lessons, art class, cub scouts, homework, ECFE, and all our weekly activities are starting back up. Busy busy.

I wanted to share a little bit about the family I chose as the winner of my portrait session giveaway. It was an extremely difficult decision - I received so many heartbreaking stories. But this one especially touched me, maybe because this little boy is so close in age to my son, Elliott.

Ben is two years old, and was diagnosed about a year ago with a genetic eye disorder. The main issue with this condition is his compromised eyesight. Ben wears glasses, and that helps him to be able to see better.

However, in September of last year, they received another diagnosis, this time much more serious. Ben was diagnosed with a very rare immune disorder. He will require a bone marrow transplant soon, and will need to spend 4-6 weeks in the hospital. Prior to the transplant, he will be undergoing 7-10 days of chemotherapy, to clear out all of the abnormal cells so he can start fresh with the new cells.

They are still looking for a bone marrow donor. Please visit the National Marrow Donor Program website to find more information about donating bone marrow. You can give the gift of life to someone like Ben.

Ben has a big sister who is 4 years old, and I'm sure Ben's transplant will be very hard on her as well. I can't wait to meet both Ben and Lydia, and their parents, and give them some photographs which I hope they will treasure forever. They will be receiving a complementary session, as well as a $1500 print credit to use however they wish.

I have been so blessed to be able to do what I love, and this is a small way I can give something back to the community. I challenge each of you to find one way you can give back, even something small. Maybe you can buy a gift card for the person standing in back of you in line at the coffee shop. Or volunteer your time at a local school. Go through your closet and donate the clothing you don't wear any more. Or maybe your profession would allow you to donate a service to a deserving family.

Just do something.