This is my absolute favorite session ever for so many reasons. And it is a session I’ll never ever forget.
I posted about Jennifer last week but for those of you who didn’t see that post, I’ll give you a little background. Jennifer (JLK) was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor on her 6th birthday. There is no cure for her cancer (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma/DIPG). She is currently undergoing radiation treatment at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital to hopefully help lessen and help some of her symptoms.
So how do I know Jennifer and why is she so important to me and my family? Jennifer is my best friends daughter. Her mom and dad are the most amazing people and I am so glad that they are in our lives. Jennifer holds such a special place in our hearts. She is the first baby my husband, Aaron, ever held. Her diaper was the first Aaron ever changed. She is the first kid we experienced Disneyland with. She is the first baby Aaron and I babysat together. There are so many firsts. The day Jennifer was born (10/28/07), my phone rang, and my caller ID rang up as “Jennifer”, which at the time was the name of a little girl I became close to while working at the YWCA…well…It wasn’t Jennifer who was calling…it was Libby. She was calling to tell me that baby was here and tell me her name! And her name, obviously, was Jennifer. I have NO IDEA why my caller ID rang up with Jennifer even though it was Libby calling…it was crazy. Exactly, 2 years later, my oldest daughter was born…Born on 10/28/09. There is just something special about JLK and she really means so much to my family.
You see, Tony and Libby, have been there for Aaron and I for so many things. They helped us while we struggled with infertility. She was the shoulder I cried on. Tony was the guy my husband could turn to. They were the ones to help us get through some very difficult times. They made us laugh. We had “cone wars”, ate firecracker cupcakes and just had fun. And now Tony and Libby are going through the most difficult thing anybody could ever face. Something NO parent should have to face. I just can’t believe they are going through this. I just want to make it better for them. To make it go away. And I can’t. And my heart breaks all day long. I want to be her shoulder to cry on..to tell her everything is going to be OK. For Aaron to be the guy Tony can come to to talk it out….to eat firecracker cupcakes, to laugh and to know it will be better. I’m doing everything I can to help them in any way I can but I feel like I can’t do enough….but I will continue doing everything I can think of to help bring a smile to Jennifer’s beautiful face and to help support their entire family in this unbelievably difficult time…for now and always.
So how is this session special? And how does it help? Well, I just wanted to bring a smile to JLK’s face…to make memories for Tony and Libby and her brothers. To make a fun little wish come true for a special little girl. See, JLK loves pink, sparkles and glitter….so I thought I needed to put that all together and make something fun happen. And that’s when I thought of a glitter shoot! The first step was finding the perfect dress. I searched EVERYWHERE and finally came across this one you see in the pictures. I just loved it. And so does Jennifer. When I got to her house to do this shoot and she opened the door and saw the dress in my hands…..the look on her face…her eyes….I’ll never ever forget it. Then came the glitter. I bought a bunch of glitter. I went with gold since gold is the color for childhood cancer…and of course, we also threw some pink glitter in there as well! :) And then it was play time. I set up my video camera on some soda boxes and let it sit while I took pictures of JLK playing…of her throwing glitter at her mom, tossing glitter over her head, drawing in the glitter and everything in between. The laughter and smiles I heard and saw this day will forever be engrained in my head. It was such an amazing day.
We love you Kranz Family! <3
Follow Jennifer’s Story and/or donate if you are willing at: www.love4JLK.org
Join her glitter squad on Facebook: www.facebook.com/love4JLK
And feel free to share this post so we can raise more awareness to JLK’s story and DIPG.
I’ll be doing a raffle at the beginning of the year to help raise money for JLK and her family and raise awareness for DIPG. I’ll be posting here and on Facebook, so keep your eyes peeled! I hope you all enjoy the pictures and the video at the end!
Gilroy Family Photographer
Love4JLK Glitter Shoot