Here’s something to make you smile.
Eight years ago, I was doing some work for The Associated Press. The story connected a local special needs family to the then Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, who also had a child with Down’s syndrome. That local family was The Moores – the star, their son Jacob.
I photographed Jacob at his home, where I met Heidi, his mom, his dad Steven and his brother Jared. We had a ton of fun – an imminent fact when you spend more than few seconds with Jacob – and the pictures are still some of my favorites. In fact, Heidi encouraged me to start doing family portraits for other families with special needs children … something that inspired the backyard studio at Life On Film!
Suffice it to say, Jacob left an even bigger impression on me – he is the subject of my front-and-center image on the Life On Film Photography website, a moment from the next time I got to see him. That chance meeting gave us time to catch up … time for me to learn he had been diagnosed with cancer.
Most recently, Jacob came to a Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta event where he performed as part of a music program that kids with cancer used as therapy. I hugged him, we talked about the time that had passed and I met his best friend Claudia. Years later, I would meet her again … when she asked Jacob to his first prom.
That story continues with Jacob – who also has Autism – fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He and his family faced years of Chemotherapy and other Cancer treatments, but they took it head on with a positive and determined attitude centered around Jacob’s huge smile and vibrant, magnetic personality.
With the community support that rallied around him, The Moores became anything but strangers to the media. So, when he made the news for a different reason – his sharp dress and seriously impressive dance moves, to start – I couldn’t wait to be there to capture it. Jacob was going to prom.
His best friend, Claudia had asked him to be her “catch to prom” with an adorable baseball poster. The recap is too cute and touching not to share.
As any high schooler would, he said yes and started practicing for the big night. But the story doesn’t end there ….. Jacob has much more to celebrate than a beautiful date to the dance. After more than 6 years, Jacob has beaten leukemia. And that is certainly something worth capturing … and celebrating!