Earlier this week, I posted in search of a family going through a tough time. A family that would cherish the gift of photography for years to come. Stories flooded in. Stories of heartbreak but also incredible hope, love and strength. I wish I was able to photograph all of these families and hope to do more giving next year. Because after all, my gift wouldn’t truly be a gift if I were not able to give.
My heart swelled when I read the story of #CourageousClaire. I knew immediately this is the family I was meant to find. The best part, my girls got to come along with me this morning to photograph this beautiful family. Emily made Claire laugh by making funny faces and waving her arms around like a wild monkey. We had the best time. Afterwards, I took them for brunch and ice cream. And hugged them a little tighter.
She is a beautiful and intensely happy 4 year old girl who has been fighting her whole life. Claire was born prematurely at 27 weeks on May 26, 2015 weighing only 3 lbs 1oz. She lived in the NICU for the first 75 days of her life, and fought hard every day to get strong. Even as a tiny baby she was amazing and determined.
While in NICU she was on respiratory support, and had to receive a blood transfusion. Upon discharge Claire suffered with developmental delay, and after further testing with neurologists and therapies Claire was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which is damage to the brain that can be caused by premature birth.
On July 2, 2019, Claire was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), which is a very rare and inoperable brain cancer. Initially, she was given a prognosis of 9-15 months.
Claire is deeply loved by her parents, April and Rey and brothers, Logan and Gavin. Her family is doing everything they to can to make her as comfortable as possible.
Please keep Claire in your daily prayers. At this point, her family’s only hope is for a miracle.
Thank you for taking the time to read about such a sweet girl with the brightest spirit.
Learn more about For Love of the Gift.