A special session is featured here today, ladies and gents! Follow me to the end of this blog post today, will you?

It all started about a week after joining the YMCA this summer. I had summoned the necessary confidence to attend Zumba class. Predictably, I flailed about for a half hour to hip-hop music with a ridiculous smile on my face because that’s how Zumba tends to go. I felt decidedly better afterward. Because, exercise, however it looks, makes people feel good.

After class, I ran into a friend that I knew named Erin. (You guys don’t even want to know how I know her because you already do. Yes, again, Listen To Your Mother. I cannot stop mentioning it, can I? Erin’s piece is here. I promise she’s the last one for a while. Maybe.) ANYWAY. She was there and she said, “Hey, we’ve been thinking about having you come over to do photos.” Music to my ears, I just love hearing those words.

My usual reply involves getting an email address, explaining that I’ll send some info later in the day, following up, blah blah blah. Standard stuff. This time, I said,

“I would love to.” and that was it. We hugged and went on our way.

Why? Because Erin’s friends had already contacted me about gifting her a session. We had just begun discussing the logistics of gathering the funds together so that she could not only enjoy the digital images, but a few prints, and two albums for her children. Checks came in the mail in pairs for the next few weeks and it was emotional seeing love arrive in my mailbox. Love for Erin, love for her husband Marcelo, and most of all, love for her two perfect little children:

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I know.

Erin has a brutal form of rare cancer and all of us who have young children can probably imagine how difficult that must be. The day to day caring for them in addition to managing medical treatments is HARD. The emotional tornado of being there for them when your emotions are all over the place is HARD. The not knowing what tomorrow will be like is indescribably HARD.

As we reflect on “what can we do?” for those in such difficult circumstances, let’s consider that simple #cancerawareness isn’t enough. October and it’s pinkwashing can take a rest now. Let’s focus those energies on #cancerdosomething, shall we? Erin doesn’t know I’m posting this and she didn’t ask me to. But she reached out to her friends recently and asked those of us who could to help raise money for cancer research so that those who suffer from her type of cancer don’t have such a poor prognosis. Here she is in person being all articulate and awesome:

If you feel all “I WANT TO HELP AND I HAVE $10!” Here is the link: https://www.crowdrise.com/100for100annualcampa/fundraiser/100for1002015

And if you don’t feel the need, totally cool, because you just came here to read a blog post, didn’t you? At the very least, reach out to a friend with cancer, tell them you are thinking of them, reach out to another friend in need. Just #dosomething. K?

jess

 

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