For the last 2 years I have photographed 100 children in 5 hours at the Sacramento Parent Magazine’s annual Babies n Bumps event. All the kids get a mini photo shoot, their parents get to purchase their favorite pictures, and each child gets entered into a competition to win the magazine’s cover kid contest. (And me and my assistant collapse onto the couch with a glass of wine when it’s all done.) I’ve met some really great kids at this event and although it’s hard work keeping my energy at 150% that entire time, it’s also a ton of fun.
One of the little boys that made it into the Top 10 in 2014 was 2 year old Isaac. We loved his curly brown hair and chubby cheeks.
What we didn’t realize was that, at the end of that same year, Isaac was diagnosed with childhood liver cancer and went from a regular toddler to a kid fighting for his life seemingly overnight.
Having come out the other side of those grueling treatments this year, his mom got in touch with me and Sacramento Parent magazine to see if we would like to share their story. Of course we wanted to meet this brave kid and so, a couple of months ago, I went out to the family’s home in Roseville to see how Isaac is doing. The result is a 4 page article in the December issue of Sacramento Parent magazine.
One of the things I was most struck by when talking to Isaac’s mom, Rosselyn, was how much Isaac’s battle affected both her and her elder son. Of course it’s natural for us to focus on the child who is sick, what they need, what they went through, and their recovery. Meanwhile the stories of family members sometimes go untold, at least from the perspective of the lasting impacts. Isaac’s brother, Christian, gets incredibly worried and anxious every time Isaac gets so much as a cold now, and Rosselyn continues to fight the fears about his ongoing health and prognosis. Thankfully things are looking good for Isaac right now but, as a mom myself, I understand that niggling fear in the back of your mind that something could take a turn for the worse. I also empathized with the sense of powerlessness and helplessness. We do everything we possibly can to protect and look after our children and then something like this rips that illusion of control right out from under us. Immediately our fates – our hearts – are in the hands of surgeons and doctors and nurses and odds and percentages. It’s a scary place to be.
As for Isaac… he’s just like every other little boy these days, playing in his front yard with his brother, and goofing around with his toys in his room. But by far my favorite moments were at the end of my time with him, when he grabbed the very blanket that had been his comfort during his treatments, and cuddled-up on the couch with it.