These photographers are capturing moments that will live on forever
The power of a photo is undeniable. As parents, we take countless pictures of our children, capturing certain phases or personality traits, to be memorialized forever. For most of us, these are our most treasured possessions. But for families of children fighting cancer, they can hold an even greater significance.
The Gold Hope Project has made it their mission to connect families battling childhood cancer with professional photographers to offer them free photo sessions and to help raise awareness for pediatric cancer.
The organization was founded by Cynthia Dawson, a professional photographer who lost her own daughter to cancer. Ava was diagnosed with a rare, inoperable and terminal brain tumor and sadly passed away when she was just five years-old. During this photo shoot and now with these pictures, Ava wasn’t just a sick cancer patient — she was a little girl enjoying life, smiling, and laughing.
It is estimated that over 15,000 children ages 0-19 will be diagnosed with cancer every year and close to 2000 will die of the disease in the United States every single year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The Gold Hope Project is also working hard to raise awareness (and funds) for pediatric cancer research. Not only are they capturing the true spirit of these child fighters, they are also a resource for families facing a recent diagnosis and a support in the community for other families who are facing similar cancer diagnoses.
Many families with ill children are emotionally, physically and financially strapped; it is the heart of The Gold Hope Project to take at least one worry off their shoulders and gift them something magical – the smiles of their children frozen in time. The Gold Hope Project’s goal is to make sure that these already over-burdened families have an everlasting documentation of the joy and whimsy of their children while simultaneously raising awareness of and funds for pediatric oncology research and treatment.
Despite the “astonishing number of children being treated each year – approximately 40,000 – resources specifically for pediatric research and the implementation of better treatments remain largely underfunded,” according to their website. It is up to many private organizations to fill in the monetary gap. The Gold Hope Project aims to alleviate some of that underfunding by giving grants to pediatric oncology research.”
If you’d like to donate to gift a session to a family whose child is battling cancer or to help fund research, please visit their website here.