I am an oncology nurse, which is more than a job, an occupation, a career. It's a vital part of who I am as a person, a part of me that will remain always. I see patients at their most vulnerable and while I never thought I would be that "nurse" that supported a specific cause, life has a way of changing us hopefully for the better.
It was September 20,2014 at the R&L studio in Grandview, our second patient project shoot. Little did we know then where this project would take us and how it would touch so many lives including our own. That day, we met a very special and courageous young womean and her loving husband. When Ashlee entered the studio, she radiated pure joy, her unrestrained enthusiasm and love of life was and is contagious. It was a wonderful session, full of laughter while capturing in photographs, Ashlee's successful battle against cancer and her loving and supportive relationship with her husband, Nathan. There was a single image that captured the theme of that day. The image shows Ashlee with her flowing long blonde hair wearing her unforgettable beaming smile along with a tee-shirt which read " Real Buckeyes wear Pink, fighting for the cure". In her hand was a photograph of her from an earlier time, a bald Ashlee, a determined aShlee, a beautiful Ashlee.
We have kept in touch with Ashlee, virtually all the patients we shoot become friends that we care for and support however and whenever possible. It's June 21,2015 and Brent and I got got together to share some wine and conversation in the Short North. I'm the one wearing the tee-shirt reading "All in for the fight, Team Ashlee H, round 2". Unfortunately, Ashlee's cancer returned and I'm wearing the tee-shirt to support her fight. Brent had his camera and talked me into taking some photographs of me in the tee-shirt. You need to know that I absolutely hate being photographed, but I trust and feel comfortable with Brent so I agreed. I'm in the Short North, in the city I love, being photographed by my friend, supporting the fight of an amazing woman. It's a good day!
Life is a story, chapters that have been written and those yet to be composed. The patient project photographs capure some of these precious moments of courage and strength, and perserverance. In a chapter yet to be writeen, Brent and I are going to photograph Ashlee, she will be wearing that same beautiful smile, accompanied by the love of her life, Nathan. She will once again be wearing a tee-shirt, blonde hair flowing, holding yet another photograph of a bald Ashlee, a determined Ashlee, a beautiful Ashlee. We will be there once again to document and celebrate her courageous battle and the beauty of her soul.