A while back I applied to become a photographer for a GREAT caused called The Littlest Hero Project. When I found out I was chosen I was elated. Then when when a family picked me to photograph their son I was "over the moon!!"
Have you heard of the Littlest Heroes Project? The Littlest Heroes Project is a non-profit based organization founded in January 2008 by Felicia Reinhard, made up of professional photographers nationwide that provide free photo sessions to our nations Littlest Heroes. Through the power of photography we are giving back and taking a stand for these children who sometimes feel forgotten because of their illnesses. We are here to let them know that they are heroes to many, and to share their inspirational stories and photos with the world.
Here is Dominick's story told from his Mom, Samantha.
"Dominick was born on September 27, 2008. Truly our miracle baby. Dominick was in the NICU unit for a suspected inspection when a heart murmur was found. A heart murmur turned into a routine echo that found Coarctation of the Aorta and Bicuspid Aortic Valve. Dominick was transported to another hospital where a closed heart surgery was performed. At 5 months old, a balloon angioplasty was done to reopen the narrowing in his aorta. Dominick has many small problems with the left side of his heart and will probably need one additional surgery. Dominick also has a slight case of asthma. You would never know by looking him. From the outside, Dominick is happy (always giving a stranger a smile!), playful, loving, and occasionally getting himself into trouble by climbing, playing in dirt and leaves and doing normal boy activities. He is our everything."
When I met Samantha (Dominick's Mom) she was so warm and friendly. She started to share her story and I immediately got chills. Here is a woman that was told her husband has testicular cancer and that they have nine days to get pregnant before he has to start chemo. Guess what? They get pregnant that quickly.. Miracle number one.
Sam says she had a great pregnancy and that her birth experience was great, but then little Dominick was taken away from her to be treated after the heart murmur was found. My heart just fell. I could not pretend to understand how she must have felt just watching her husband fight, and now to watch her new little man fight must have been too much to bear.
Yet, you would NEVER know there was anything wrong with little Dominick. Miracle number two. He was sooo cute, so full of those adorable shy smiles for me. I could not have asked for a better session. We were able to go play outside and that is when Dominick let go and let me in..
When I drove off and processed how much Samantha and her husband went through it reassured me that miracles are real. Sam, Dominick and her husband are living proof that miracles do happen.
It was such an amazing gift to be able to give back to this family. I truly hope Dominick moves mountains as he grows.
Thank you again Samantha for choosing me to photograph your family. You all touched my heart and I am forever thankful for it!!
If you have a child, or know a child, who suffers from any type of serious illness or life altering disability, please visit the Littlest Heroes Project website at www.littlestheroesproject.org for more information or to apply for a photo session.