I want you to meet my beautiful friend, Diane. For the last 4 years, she has been fighting leukemia. And if you've ever known anyone with cancer, you know that it can be a vicious, never-ending nightmare that wreaks havoc on the individual, as well as their family and friends. Throughout her journey, she has experienced a multitude of painful complications, including Gastroparesis and tumors that won't stop spreading. But despite all of that, she has remained an inspiration to everyone she meets or who simply hears her story. She has remained strong in her faith, shown more courage than I have ever witnessed and is continuously a light to those around her. She doesn't hide her pain. She doesn't pretend that everything is okay. She has good days and bad days, but uses her bad days as fuel to remind us all that we can't ever lose hope, even during our darkest seasons of life.
I've watched in awe as she fearlessly made decisions that risked her life more than once for surgeries many advised her against and for trials that may or may not have worked. But after traveling back and forth multiple times this year to be treated with the utmost care by the best doctors at John Hopkins, another fearless, yet heartbreaking decision was made: she came home to Phoenix once again, this time in the care of hospice.
I'm sharing her story today, because some of her closest friends have started a youcaring.com page to help make Diane's last wish come true. I know it's sometimes difficult to give when you don't know the person, but I hope you'll take the time to read about her journey, see her light and contribute what you can. She's almost half-way there!!
In addition to the personal contribution I have already made, I'll be donating 100% of the proceeds from the next person who books a Mother's Day Mini-Session with me. Sessions are still available! :)
Some fun facts about Diane:
I don't know anyone who talks and jokes about poop more than this girl. She has the coolest shoe collection I've ever seen. You can't talk to her without silly faces being made. Her laugh and smile are infectious, which is how her light shines through. She has a love story with her boyfriend that is one for the books. Seriously, their love for each other inspires me just as much as her courage does. And you will never, ever meet a bigger Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan! Literally no one can top this girl's love for those toytles!
About the Photos
I decided to pull from the archives to share (and re-edit) some photos that were taken shortly after Diane was diagnosed, but before chemo stole her hair. We had wandered around downtown Phoenix one afternoon and she let me snap some photos of her, back when extreme sun-flare was all the rage. Since she and my best friend were practically sisters, we hadn't really hung out one-on-one together like that before, so it was really fun getting to know each other better! We mainly joked around and laughed a lot as we tried not to get eaten alive by ants, but it's a day I'll never forget.
Sending you all the love in the world, Diane. You deserve it. Big toytle hugs!