Riley Fighter Story {The Gold Hope Project}

Riley is my third little fighter to meet and photograph for The Gold Hope Project. Read below for Riley’s story.The Gold Hope Project

On Dec 7 2012 at 2pm our healthy 3 year old was suddenly diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)He spent a week in the hospital and started intense chemotherapy..He has amazed Doctors with how well he is responding and we know it is because of all the prayers that have been lifted up for him..We believe in the power of PRAYER! 2

The survival rate for this type of cancer is 95% and the process is at minimum a 3 years…We believe God has fully healed him and restored his body and that he will be a testimony and inspiration to all that meet him!!! 3

Riley had so much wonderful energy that day for the photo shoot. He was laughing, running, and playing. Also, talking non-stop about super heros and how the Hulk was is favorite!4 5 6 7Riley’s beads are very important. Each one has a special meaning, a needle prick, a hospital stay and so on.  It’s not easy seeing a precious child in this condition.  Raising awareness for childhood cancer is vital in finding a cure and providing treatment. 8 9

Only a very small percentage of cancer research funds goes towards childhood cancer. Wanna know how much? It’s not much, only $195,529,112  of over 5 billion dollars went to pediatric cancers in 2011. BREAST cancer received $625,059,909.  LUNG cancer received $296,814,144.  PROSTATE cancer received $288,326,756.10 11 12
Please take a moment and watch Riley’s video I made just for him below.

The Gold Hope Project | Riley from Melinda Fain on Vimeo.

There are 92 drugs that are specific to pediatric disorders, conditions and illnesses. Not one is a chemotherapy or related to childhood cancers. Leukemia, by far, is the most expensive pediatric cancer to treat. (mean cost of $47,000 per stay)
Stay tuned to The Gold Hope Project, there are fund raising efforts in the future. Please go like their Facebook page as well to learn about other fighters.

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The Gold Hope Project | Alexander

Right before Christmas I had the pleasure of meeting little Alexander. He showed up true to form in his complete cowboy get up.  Here’s a little bit about this amazing little man:

He turned 3 in January 2012 and got sick on January 26, 2012 with seemed to be a sinus infection. On February 6, 2012, that he has T-Cell (T) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) standard risk. He began the fight for his very young life. Alexander failed to go into remission with the first rounds of chemo and was moved to High Risk category. Alexander would need a stem cell transplant to give him the best possible chance of living a long life. On June 26, 2012 Alexander got the much-needed stem cells! He is currently at home in recovery and doing great!

Alexander is an awesome little guy: at 4 years old, he loves to play from the second he gets up until the very last moment before he goes to sleep. Whether he is playing in a group with friends or by himself, he seems to truly enjoy every single day. He loves to read, play guitar, sing, play with hot wheels, go to movies, but most of all – he loves to watch and play bucking bulls and rodeo.

About a year ago, he saw a girl in the yard next door and drove past her in his electric jeep and introduced himself as Cowboy Alex of the PBR. That may come from the fact that he loves bull riding and watches a lot of Professional Bull Rider’s Association (PBR). He is also somewhat of a flirt!

online1 online2 online3 online4 online5 online6 online7 online8Alexander was my very first Gold Session and I’ve had one more since. Please visit The Gold Hope Project on Facebook to keep up with all these amazing fighter stories. Hopefully by summer or fall we will have our non-profit status and that’s when the really FUN stuff will start. We need more awareness and funding for childhood cancers.

Did you know that in 2011 the NCI budget was $5.196 billion.  BREAST cancer received $625,059,909.  LUNG cancer received $296,814,144.  PROSTATE cancer received $288,326,756 and research for ALL types pediatric cancers was only $195,529,112.

That’s not going to cut it people!! For more facts visit this page.

I’m so humbled to be part of this organization. I can’t wait to see what’s in our future. If you are a photographer who’d like to participate, we are opening applications back up beginning Feb. 15 until March 1st. Click here to apply.

DIY Props {Gold Masquerade Mask for TGHP}

I am so excited to tell you about a new project that just started this September!!! It’s called The Gold Hope Project.

The Mission:

The Gold Hope Project is a group of photographers that have come together to capture the moments that your family holds so dear to their heart. Some of us have been touched by the presence of cancer, and some have not, but we have all been given a gift that we would like to share with you.

More precious than the gold that represents them, children are our future. This year alone, approximately 13,500 parents will have to listen to a doctor tell them, “Your child has cancer.” 
Can you imagine?

There are twelve major types of childhood cancers. From there, they are broken down into three groups.

  • Leukemias (cancer of the blood)
  • Lymphomas (cancer of the immune system)
  • Solid tumors (cancer in bones, organs, or tissue)

While the survival rate has increased over the past 40 years from 10% to nearly 80%, the number of children diagnosed increases slightly each year. And, while there have been many medical advances in the field of cancer research, treatment of pediatric cancer is still very aggressive and can have many lasting side effects. Some pediatric brain tumors, such as brain stem gliomas and pontine gliomas, are terminal upon diagnosis and no new protocols have been developed in 30 years. Despite the astonishing number of children being treated each year (approximately 40,000), funding for the research and implementation of better treatment remains largely underfunded.

I have been accepted as a volunteer photographer for this amazing group!! There are photographers worldwide and it’s still growing!! So many wonderful things are yet to come, so keep checking their website or Facebook page. If you have a fighter or know of a child fighting cancer please have them apply here.

Okay now to the real reason for this particular post. We are encouraged to use something gold in our photo sessions. I went out shopping the other day for something just to get my gold prop stash started. I came across a gold masquerade mask at Joann Fabric. I bought some gold sequins, really wanted gold feathers but they didn’t carry gold. Darn it!!!!

Anyhoo…I wanted to share the project with anyone involved so that you know you don’t have to spend a ton of money, just takes a little bit of creativity and time. I searched Etsy for a similar project and didn’t find any that were “kid friendly” and cheap. So I think I made the right decision to make my own mask.

As you can see there were very little supplies and you can make it as simple or fancy as you’d like. If I ever make another I’ll buy the strands of sequins that you can find over in the ribbon section. Yea, I hot glued each little sequin!!! I would’ve put sequins around the entire edge where the glitter is, but I was over it by then!! haha

If you have a gold DIY please leave a link in the comment section so we can all visit and see!!!