According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, over 13,000 children under the age of 19 are diagnosed with cancer. These numbers are staggering and heartbreaking. Oklahoma photographer, Lora Scantling had a close friend who lost her 1 year old to cancer, and she is watching her stepfather battle the horrible disease as well. She wanted to portray the image of strength, give encouragement to those who are fighting or watching someone fight, and raise awareness.
The girls in the photo had never met before the photo shoot. Scantling, with the help and support of Goodger Photography and two local boutiques, Penelope’s Children’s Boutique and PJ’s Boutique, used Facebook to find the courageous little models.
At just 3 years old, Rylie has just beaten stage 5 kidney cancer. Rheann, who is 6 years old has brain cancer and 4 year old Ainsley is fighting leukemia. The girls are now friends and support systems for each other. In an interview with Koco.com, Goodger states, “I think it can be a lonely disease. You sit in the hospital a lot.”
“From May until January, that’s where we lived was the hospital,” says Rylie’s mom.
Another photo in the series, shows the girls’ instant bond:
The photo has since gone viral on Facebook with thousands of likes and shares with its inspirational message. Scantling hopes the photo will continue to help bring awareness to childhood cancer and shares,
“You know every photographer has the dream of making a photo that would touch millions and be seen around the world. More importantly the recognition these girls are getting is amazing! People are seeing their strength and getting to know them!Tthey are making an impact on the world! It’s their story, all I did was capture it!”
To follow Rheann, send her some encouragement on Facebook.
To be one of Ainsley’s Allies, click here.
To support Team Rylie, click here.
CREDITS: Photographs by Lora Scantling are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.