I’ve shared photos that I have captured of Heather and her family on my blog before. Here is a little bit of her story, for those of you who aren’t familiar.
I first met Heather and her family in March 2014. She had just been diagnosed with a rare form of fallopian tube cancer, while she was pregnant with her second child. This resulted in an emergency c-section and surgery to remove the cancer. Two weeks after her daughter was born I went to the Wascak family’s home and photographed their family. Heather was going to be starting chemotherapy the next day. She wanted photos breastfeeding her newborn baby, Lucia, for one of the last times. You can see the photos of this session here. It was a life changing experience for me to see this beautiful young mother who was about to begin the fight for her life. It was truly an honor to preserve this moment in their life.
A few weeks later, Heather texted me and asked if I would come and photograph as she shaved her hair off, in anticipation of what was to come with her chemotherapy treatments. When I arrived, I walked in to Heather and Dan’s home full of some of their best friends. Heather’s husband, son and a group of her friends all shaved their heads in support of her. There was laughter, wine, snacks, tears, and a lot of hugs. I left that day feeling overwhelmed by the support that Heather had from her family and friends. You can view these photos here.
Following these two visits, I kept up with Heather’s journey as she shared it on her facebook page. She went through all of the chemo treatments that her doctor had recommended and then she went into remission. It looked like the cancer had left her body. She began to try and recover from the harsh treatments and to get back to some sort of normal. But just a few months after entering remission the cancer came back. Heather decided that she was going to try alternative treatments. She began working with a Gerson doctor and working on an intensive program to fight the cancer using all organic foods, juices and supplements. During this time, Heathers support group really stepped in to help her family with maintaining the daily chores of keeping up a home, watching the kids, preparing the juice and meals for her Gerson therapy etc. I began going to their house as my schedule allowed and the time that I spent with Heather and her family really made me fall in love with them. They are truly good people and this is such a horrible experience for all of them.
After a few weeks of using holistic treatments, the cancer began to spread throughout her body. Heather decided to begin second line chemotherapy treatment and use a modified version of Gerson therapy. It looked like her tumor markers were coming down but after three cycles they jumped back up and she learned that the cancer is resistant to all chemo.
She is now looking for alternative treatments to save her life.
This is where we come in!
My friend Jenn Ayres of Ayres Photography and I have created an Insta-Auction on Instagram to raise money for Heather and her family. We approached the creative community and asked for donations of creative services and items. The response was amazing! The donations range from wedding photography, music lessons, math tutoring, portrait sessions, paintings, letter press art, a ukulele, newborn photography, music recording and more! The Instagram auction is live now and bidding has begun. It will end on this Wednesday, June 24 at 9pm. You can find the auction on Instagram by searching for @HelpHeatherHeal. 100% of the donations from this auction go directly to Heather and her family.
To learn more about her story and to donate directly, please visit her You Caring page.
Here are the most recent photos I captured of Heather this past Friday.