Where to start...I am almost at a loss for words. Yes! ME at a loss for words!
Every now and then you meet someone (or several someone's!) who you feel blessed to have spent time with. This gorgeous family is the several someones. Pedro, Bec & Reef are an amazing, inspiring, strong, warm, friendly, caring, understanding (I could go on and on) people whom I was lucky enough to photograph and hear their story. A story that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.
I will rewind a little and start at the beginning. Bec was nominated by her gorgeous friend for my 'Spirit of Giving' christmas giveaway. When I read the nomination about Pedro and Bec's story I knew I wanted to do something special for them. What I absolutely love about these photo shoots, is not only do I get to take photos and create memories, I get to listen to the most moving stories and see just how inspiring some people are.
A little of their story...
After years of difficulties they had in falling pregnant Reef was eventually conceived via IVF. However, when Reef was only 2 days old when he was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome. If that wasn't enough of a shock and adjustment, at just 8.5 months old they were then given another devastating blow...Reef has AML Leukaemia. He was given an 80% chance of survival. For the next 8 months Bec & Reef had to relocate to Brisbane for intensive chemotherapy whilst Pedro commuted back and forth to work. After returning home, Reef then had to spend the next 4 months in isolation until his immune system recovered enough to venture out.
Enough to make us all look at our own children and feel incredibly blessed, isn't it?
But instead of just curling up and doing what was needed to survive, these a.m.a.z.i.n.g parents threw themselves into charity work and helping others.
I could see that Pedro is Bec's rock - supporting her and spending every moment possible with Reef.
And Bec...wow. She is an incredible lady - someone I would certainly look up to admire. Her office is an array of information:
* for her own charity
* for the events she organises through the Mackay support group she has established
* with phone numbers to call to bring more awareness to downs syndrome and other disabilities in the region
The bond Pedro and Bec have with Reef was so clearly evident that it made me almost tear up. And the love they have for each other was equally special to witness. I absolutely adore these photos...and I hope they do too :-)
Oh boy...I have a lump in my throat just writing this. xo
For more information on Reef, you can like their facebook page here.