High School Senior Cancer Survivor
Meet Allie from Johnston High School. I had the privilege of taking her senior photos about a year and a half ago - Class of 2014. I've been friends with Allie's family for quite awhile. We've spent many summers watching her younger brother and my youngest son play baseball together! Shortly after taking Allie's Senior pictures she found out that she had cancer. Allie's story is a story of courage, hope and faith. These photographs were taken after her treatments were over. Her hair had been growing out and was crazy adorable. Love her curls! I wanted to capture some photos of Allie and her mom before she took off for college for the first time. Even though we were all crazy busy at the time, I'm so glad we were able to do this! I'm so encouraged by Allie and her family's strength through this difficult time in their life. God can do amazing things.
Allie's Story: "I found out that I had to have surgery at the beginning of my senior year. I went into surgery not knowing what they were going to have to remove. When I had surgery they removed my right ovary which turned out to be cancerous. It had burst so there could have been cancer cells floating in my body and spread. They decided I needed chemo. When I found that out the first few things that worried me were being sick all the time, being poked with needles, and most of all losing my hair. At first I was very mad thinking why this was happening to me. Then I really had no emotion about it until the day I went in for my first chemo. I went in with a positive attitude and told myself I was going to do this."
"Faith was a big thing that helped me through it all. Knowing I had so many people praying for me and sending me gifts. I prayed every time I was having a bad day knowing God would help me through it all and that it happened for a reason. My hope for the future is that I will have a positive impact on others. It really changed my outlook on life. I have a better outlook on life. I don't take things for granted, especially my health. I am so happy I made it through all that and say I am happy and healthy."
Here is what her mom, Paula, had to say about her daughter.
Can you tell me some words that would describe your daughter? I would describe Allie as strong, fun, smart, faithful and determined.
How has seeing someone you love so much go through this experience? It was tough to see her go through the cancer experience. I did my best to support and comfort her and make sure that any requests or needs she had were met. It’s not easy and you just have to trust the path you have been sent down and power through it.
How has this made your bond stronger? It definitely made our bond stronger. We were together during treatments and doctor visits. We listened to the doctors and asked questions that helped us know what we needed to do to get us all through. I loved the time we spent together and I really felt it brought us closer. I saw how strong and faithful she really was as a person. I saw her grow up from a child to an adult.
How has your faith helped you get through this time? God answers prayers. I kept the faith that we were doing what we needed to do to get her better and put cancer behind us. Family and friend support helped us keep the faith.
Anything that you would like to share? Treasure the time with your kids because before you know it they are grown up and ready for the next chapter in their lives. Parenting is for a lifetime and they will need parental guidance at all ages.
I love that they got these tattoos together -- "hope" & "survivor".
Allie & Paula -- thanks for sharing your story! Hopefully this will help someone else who is going through something similar right now! I'm so glad that this story has such a happy ending! Allie is enjoying college right now at UNI. Allie is one of the sweetest girls! Always a smile on her face!
Here are some of Allie's senior photos taken about a year earlier.
I'm so glad we were able to get a family photo too! Such a cute family!
Well, and you know, I love taking photos with your dog! Typically some of my favs! And the one on the right happens to be a big canvas on their wall!