There is something special about being able to give back, especially to those who have faced challenges and possibilities that when just considering them, send shivers down your spine.
Ronald McDonald House phoned me earlier this year to ask if I would be willing to photograph a family for their Christmas campaign and it was an immediate yes from me. I had met Hannah previously but didn't know a lot about their story until the day of the shoot.
I arrived on a sunny morning at their farm in Five Rivers to be greeted by Hannah, Craig, Briar and Luke. You honestly wouldn't have known Luke had a heart condition - he was buzzing around full of energy and excitement and I love that resilience in children. Luke has Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Artesia and MAPCA’s – a very serious heart condition that meant when he was born he wasn’t getting enough oxygenated blood around his tiny body. He was born at Starship at 34 weeks and remained there for a long time. He has had 4 open heart surgeries, as well as many other procedures. Hannah has compiled a folder of Luke's medical journey from birth and I can tell you there is some weight in those 4 years!!
Ronald McDonald house has been a savior for their family throughout their journey that still continues. A home away from home that is always there, door open, friendly faces, yummy food and an environment that has still allowed Briar to be a child without all that comes from being in the hospital environment. It was also essential in being able to keep their family together through these difficult times, especially given Craig still had a farm to run.
The magic of photographs and all they represent becomes apparent when people view their images for the first time and it was no different when Hannah came into the studio. It's emotional, it's not just a photo, right there in this moment they are all together, including Ellie (dog) & Boo (cat) enjoying this time on the place they call home and it represents how far they have come on this heck of a journey as a family.
I have heard so many stories this year from clients that have had the use of Ronald McDonald house and it is super easy to make a donation so I'll just leave this link here