I’m forever changed.

This post is the nearest and dearest post I've ever written.... here goes. My aunt Carole is a pediatric oncology nurse and she is a SAINT... decades of amazing nursing to some of the most incredibly sick children. I love her dearly... she considers her patients her heros, but really she is SUCH a hero herself.... I digress.

Carole introduced me to Lauren's story... Lauren is a 20 year-old woman who is battling Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of pediatric cancer that is extremely aggressive. This is her second bout with the cancer; she had already undergone treatment and was considered in-remission when she received the news that the cancer had come back....  Lauren put on a brave face and began fighting this cancer like she had done so brilliantly in the past.

On June 12th, Lauren was given the news that the cancer had spread not only around her lungs, but her heart too... they originally gave Lauren 6 months to live, but after further testing her prognosis was now "three weeks to three months." I cannot even fathom how hard that news must have been for this brave woman, for her sweet family, for her loyal friends....

Lauren had created a bucket-list for herself just a couple weeks before.... "Learn to Bartend, Volunteer at a Hospice Center, Go to a nude beach and actually go nude, Swim with dolphins...." were on her list, and the last bucket-list item, "Eventually get married."

This quote was taken from Lauren's Blog (which I encourage everyone to read):

"I had to really think about the bucket list plans that I made earlier. I can no longer fly anywhere and cannot go skydiving. So my thoughts went to getting married. I had the perfect groom in mind, which kind of makes me feel like a creeper, but he is one best for over four years. Egor is also pretty darn attractive if you were to ask just about anyone. And he is a guy who said he would go across the world for me, luckily he only has to go about 7 hours by car to get me."

And so the wedding preparations began. This is where I come in. My aunt Carole asked if I would shoot her wedding - ummmm, of course, without hesitation, in a heartbeat.... YES, YES, YES. I told my assistant, Chantel what I was doing and she immediately jumped on board... and then Joel - the videographer (Edge Fog Films) I adore jumped on board. So did so many community members - in just three short weeks Lauren's wedding dreams were a reality.  So many community donations - a venue, food, drinks, a cake, spa services.... you name it.

The wedding was 2 days ago, there was about 150 people in attendance - family, friends, neighbors and the hospital oncology staff. I couldn't have been MORE HONORED to have captured the day. The day was filled with love and laughter, giggles and dancing. Egor married Lauren at the drop of a hat - he made her wishes for a wedding a reality. He is a sweet, sweet man.... and they are wonderful together.

Lauren, I don't know if you realize the impact you have on my life. Your strength, your perseverance, your maturity, your love for life and for those around you... your sweet nature,  your friendships.... the way you have treated your doctors and nurses, they way you danced with your dad during your 'father/daughter dance'... your belief in true love, your sweet giggles - and your amazing blog in which you are honest and inspiring and help others navigating all these complicated feelings. I adore you.