Most of you read on my facebook page last week, the news that my assistant, Jenny Swanson, has recently been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. As I type that sentence, I realize that still doesn’t quite seem real to me. Many of you have had the pleasure of working with Jenny when you book a photo session with me. Several years ago, as my business was taking off, I realized that I LOVED taking and editing the photos, but simply dreaded dealing with all of the emails and scheduling nightmares. Jenny was a friend of mine, who I had hired to do some editing in the past, and I asked if she’d be interested in the job. I thank God for her every single day. She keeps my calendar organized and responds to emails with such a sweet spirit, she makes it nearly impossible for clients to get mad at me. :) If I need to tell a client I am booked, or (ahem…) you forgot to pay me, Jenny to the rescue!
But of course Jenny is WAY more than just my assistant. She and her husband, Jeff, have three great kids and their youngest is just about my Alita’s age. She is a home schooling mom and pours her heart and soul into her family. She and Jeff love Jesus like no other, and their faith is such an inspiration to me and those around them. As you can imagine, a cancer diagnosis can test anyone, but they remain steadfast and strong- using this opportunity to share their faith openly with others.
Please take a minute to read their blog- they both post there and do a fantastic job of giving specific prayer requests for all of those prayer warriors out there. They manage to write beautifully about this time in their lives and give updates on how Jenny is doing, especially since she started her chemo treatment this past Monday.
Here is a recent shot of Jenny and her family that a neighbor took of them. I’m hoping to get in a session for them soon, we were supposed to have a session together last weekend, and unfortunately poor Jenny was stuck in the doctor’s office and ER dealing with a problem with the port in her arm. But I’m not giving up yet- I’m determined to get them in front of my camera as soon as Jenny feels up to it.
Her kids (from left to right) are: T.J., Mia and Toby. Seriously cute kids, I always love when I get to photograph- total photographer’s dream. :)
While I wish there was so much more I could do, like wipe that darn cancer right out of her, I want to start by helping their family raise funds towards their mounting medical bills. They have a long road ahead of them, starting with her first rounds of chemo that will last for the next three months. That will be followed by surgery, then another 9 weeks of chemo. I hope to do several fundraisers in year ahead, but I would love to get something in the works right away.
So- I’d like to start by auctioning off the ever-popular mini sessions!! :) I plan to auction off three sessions (so better the chance of you winning!) and will add more if we get over 100 donations. Here is how it works…
1) Donate $20 for every raffle ticket towards a free mini session, which will include all of your edited full resolution photo on a disc. If you don’t need a mini session for yourself right now- save the certificate to use anytime next year or give it to a friend as a gift. Perfect Christmas gift for a family in the area, don’t you agree?
2) Send your donation to me via paypal using my email- firstname.lastname@example.org: https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/send-money-online
EVERY PENNY WILL BE GOING STRAIGHT TO JENNY. I’ll be sure to update everyone on the exact amount we are able to raise and I can’t wait to present her family with a check from all of YOU!
3) Double your chances of winning by posting this blog or my Facebook status on your Facebook page. If you “share” on your page, I’ll add another raffle ticket for you in the drawing. Just let me know you’ve “shared”. Please help spread the word!
4) We will be doing the drawing on this WEDNESDAY evening, October 30th. So all entries need to be in by 7:00 pm on Wednesday. I’ll video the drawing and let you know if your name was chosen by playing it on my facebook page. I have three daughters here ready to choose the three winners and they can’t wait to announce who won! I am choosing a winner rather soon because I’d love for you to be able to get your mini session in this coming weekend if you’d like. Great fall colors right now and the temps are supposed to be in the 50’s. So you can still get those Christmas card shots in that you were kicking yourself for missing. ;)
O.K.- that’s it. Simple, right? Now- please jump over to the paypal site and let’s get this started! I’ll keep updating you through out the week to let you know how it’s going. Thanks for helping provide a bright spot for this family, I can’t wait to drop off her check from the greatest clients in the world!