Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Amelie’s Gold Hope Project & The Secret Her Parents Shared with Me

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness month, I’ve been blogging about my work with The Gold Hope Project and featuring all the amazing fighter kids who I’ve had the honor to meet over the past year.

The mission of The Gold Hope Project is to gift families battling pediatric cancer with a free portrait session. Photos from the sessions are then used to raise awareness & funds for pediatric oncology research and treatment.

If your child is currently fighting childhood cancer, or is a survivor under the age of 18, click here to apply for a free Gold Hope Session.

If you are photographer who would like to volunteer your services, click here.

Amelie’s Story:

Amelie was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in January of 2018. She had port insertion surgery, tumor removal and bone grafting surgery and chemotherapy as well as transfusions of blood and platelets. After a very long, scary year for her family, she finished up her treatments in December 2018.

Our Time Together:

I met Amelie and her family in January, shortly after she had finally finished her treatment. I had the best time with Amelie and her little sister, Eloisa, on an unusually gorgeous January day at the Park at Harlinsdale Farms. The weather and the light were both beautiful, and we spent time running, playing, and giggling. Amelie’s mom, Alyssa, had the fantastic idea of bringing their favorite dress-up clothes, so at the end of the session, we were able to capture some really magical images of the girls playing in the sunset.

Before our session, Alyssa had let me in on a little secret that not even the girls knew at the time…Alyssa and Naph had just found out they were expecting baby #3! They had shared their first two pregnancies with family and friends using photographs made with a large frame to highlight Alyssa’s newly pregnant tummy and wanted to use our session as an opportunity to do the same with baby #3.

They weren’t quite ready to tell the world yet, and since the girls were so young, Alyssa wasn’t sure they could be trusted to keep such a secret, so even they didn’t know at the time of the session. But we took the “framed belly” photos for the couple to use when they were ready, but the girls didn’t know why we were doing that.

Now it’s been about nine months since that beautiful January evening, and I checked in with Alyssa to get an update on their growing family and on Amelie’s recovery. Amelie is in remission and doing great, but her trials aren’t over. She may possibly have to have another surgery on her arm as the original bone replacement she had because of her tumor is not growing correctly as she ages. She might possibly have to have several surgeries as she grows.

Another thing the family is still dealing with is all the medical costs associated with fighting childhood cancer. They had to switch to different insurance this year, and the out of pocket maximums are much higher. Many of their providers are out of network, making expenses even higher. The 4 scans a year Amelie has to have for the next several years will cost them $3500 each time. The family’s GoFundMe is linked below if you’d like to help contribute to those costs.

Baby girl #3 is due at the end of this month and is doing great!

Where to Read More About Amelie:

Amelie’s Gold Hope Session Blog

Amelie’s Website

Amelie’s GoFundMe

Last week, I blogged about my Gold Hope Sessions with fighters Kelly and Hattie if you would like to read their stories.

I still have a few Fall Portrait sessions left. What are you waiting for? Book yours today.

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