Teresa is someone that most of you all are familiar with. If you don't know her personally, you have heard about her through the media and about her multiple fights with cancer (ewing sarcoma). Teresa's battle began when she was 19. A rare form of cancer has plagued her body on and off ever since. She is 23 now and I'm happy to have gotten to know her and her family over the past few years. Teresa was my assistant before this last round of treatment began. She is too weak most days to even consider helping on sessions, not to mention a little more vulnerable to germs I'm sure. I have certainly missed having her with me! She enjoys my photo sessions just as much as I do!
I asked Teresa if I could shoot some photos of her back in the summer before she began another round of treatment. Her hair was growing back and I wanted to show her strength through photos...she is by far the strongest person that I know. She is always thinking positive and never seems to let anything get her down! I was hesitant about asking her to do these, but to my surprise she was totally on board!
I wanted to show her beautiful smile and gorgeous personality in these photos...
To me, Teresa is strong. She's a FIGHTER. She's a SURVIVOR.
Teresa never quits. She PERSEVERES. She FIGHTS BACK.
But I can't help but wonder sometimes if she has her demons...those deep down inside that tell her she just won't win this time. Those that tell her this is a long shot. Mercy, I would hope not, but aren't we all human? Don't we all have our doubts? If I were Teresa, would I be able to be as strong as she is? FIGHT as well as she does? SURVIVE like she does? If I were Teresa, how I would view myself and my battle? With uncertainty? With doubts?
I pray that Teresa doesn't have those feelings. I pray that Teresa places her full trust in the Lord and that she truly believes that HE is doing what is best for her. Teresa has had more than her fair share of challenges, but through it all, look at all the lives she has touched. Look at them all! She has shown so many people what strength is and what determination is.
This weekend, there was a local blood drive in honor of Teresa, as well as Claire, a young baby girl fighting leukemia. There was a great turnout and the local media can tell you all about that HERE.
Teresa is still fighting her battles and covets your prayers. She has an amazing family that supports her 125% but I'm sure still loves to know that others are thinking of her.
I have this photo (below) on my desk of Teresa and I. We have shared some fun times together. We both look forward to doing it all again soon!
Teresa, I thank you so much for letting me photograph you. You are an inspiration to me and a true FIGHTER. The Lord will bless you!