When Jacob was diagnosed with A.L.L. in December of 2010, he decided to take on an alter ego, The Leukemia Slayer, and use it to do battle. Going into treatments he would pump himself up by saying, “The Slayer has to be strong!” and with this courage, he would take on the next “enemy”. His second persona has not only been a source of strength for himself, but also a source of inspiration with many of the other children fighting the same fight. Other parents would ask their kids, “Dont you want to be like The Slayer!?!” For this FILM Project session Jacob brought his courage beads. After each prick, shot, draw, chemo treatment, you name it, he has received a single bead. For some of his more challenging visits, like his visit to the emergency room, he received a special bead for slaying the adversary once again. Jacob wears these beads with pride, they are a small reminder of the number of drones he had to kill before conquering this big ol beast! He is undergoing treatments until 2014 when doctors anticipate a full recovery.
This was my first portrait session that I’ve done for the FILM project and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to document this time in The Slayer’s life. As we walked around the grounds at Picchetti Winery, Jacob would disappear around a corner and then reappear beaming with a massive smile on his face. ”Mom! I was able to jump over the fence!” His mom later explained that this was one of his favorite things to do while at the park, however months ago Jacob’s condition had limited his mobility such that he could not do the same things he used to be able to do. When he was again able to run around with his brother and climb the walls and jump the fences, you could see pride exploding from his face as each of these little triumphs unfolded. It was one of those moments that had me smiling from ear to ear.
Thank you Slayer for letting me come out and capture images of you and your family!
If you are a photographer and would like to consider donating your time and talents for families facing similar challenges as The Leukemia Slayer, or perhaps you are a family looking to schedule a FILM Project Portrait Session please visit www.thefilmproject.net to learn more.