I photographed Amy and Mike’s engagement photos at the Boston Public Gardens May 2, 2009. I had only just begun the session when I noticed a family with a little girl who, by her appearance, looked like she may have been in treatment for cancer. The father watched us and upon realizing I was a professional photographer, approached and asked if I could take a photo of his daughter with the beautiful light in the park. They had flown in from Chicago in a rush against time for surgery in a Boston hospital for their daughter, who I’ll call “Hannah from Chicago.” He explained that she was supposed to be in remission until a recent appointment when another tumor was found in her brain. He was very apologetic for interrupting, but I think Amy, Mike and myself were moved by the request. I was more than happy to oblige, and Amy and Mike didn’t mind giving up some time on a beautiful sunny day. Amy works in a medical profession, so she knew what was at stake.
I followed up with Hannah’s father Neal a few days later, and here was his reply from his blackberry, still at the hospital: “I am replying from hospital. Surgery successful. Tumor (re-occurance) completely removed per this afternoon’s MRI! We are so relieved. Thank you with you kindness regarding the photos. We felt bad interrupting your job, but were simultaneously chilled by the possibility that she might not be able to walk or smile if the surgery failed.”
I was glad Neal was brave enough to approach me. To me, this is a reminder of why photographs are so important. You never know when life will hang in the balance and it’s important to capture the good times. It was a good day, and I was grateful to be a part of it. Interesting how timing came together to make it all happen. Here’s a photo of Hannah, along with photos of Amy and Mike: