Have you heard of St. Baldrick’s Foundation? I hadn’t — not until I was contacted by them earlier this year. St. Baldrick’s is a nation-wide charity committed to funding research for childhood cancer. The organization began in 2000 when a few reinsurance executives planned a head-shaving event to raise money to benefit kids with cancer. They exceeded their $17,000 goal by a whole lot – raising over $100,000 instead!
Today there are head-shaving events all across the world, and the head-shavees become walking billboards for the cause. Is this not a fantastic idea? Just brilliant. Over the past 11 years, they have raised more than $114 million to fund the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.
Each year, St. Baldrick’s chooses 5 Ambassador Kids to represent the statistic that one out of every five children with cancer will not survive. Here’s where we meet Austin, a 5-year-old two-time cancer survivor from Cleveland Heights. I was asked by St. Baldrick’s to photograph Austin and his family for the 2012 Ambassador Kid campaign.
I met Austin, his big brother Braedan, mom Krissy, and dad Mark at their home early one October morning. To say I was honored to photograph and spend time with this family would be a huge understatement. Beautiful inside and out, warm and welcoming and full of life, I left their home absolutely in awe. Despite all they’ve been through, this family simply shines. The boys were a blast, and they were the most energetic siblings I’ve photographed all year (Krissy, I don’t know how you do it. Seriously).
Here are some highlights from Austin’s photo shoot and some links you should check out.