“Oh my God, Debbie, it’s cancer!” I was standing in Borders at Ala Moana. You never forget where you are when you hear those words. The words no one ever wants to hear, especially when talking about a 3 year old! Over the summer, one of my best friend’s 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor. While on Denae’s college road trip, we drove to Las Vegas to visit with Eve, Joe and Chloe. Chloe was diagnosed on a Monday and had surgery on the Tuesday to remove her left kidney as well as the tumor growing inside of her. Denae and I arrived at the hospital 2 days later to visit Chloe in hospital. Chloe was up and about and in good spirits but this was just the beginning of a very long road. Their life was turned upside down. I took my camera for the sole purpose of documenting this part of their story, knowing photos needed to be taken. Knowing that this is a part of their story that will need to be told in the most beautiful way possible.
It’s hard to watch your best friend go through something like this and know there is really nothing you can do. Eve is one of the strongest women I have ever met. Sitting in the hospital lobby, with tears streaming down her face as she tells me every detail of this nightmare she is living, my heart simply breaks. I cannot even imagine what she is going through. The only thing I can do is listen, and hand her tissues. I don’t know what the future holds. I pray it will be one full of hope, joy and a long life for Chloe. For now, all we know is Chloe has stage 3 cancer and will undergo 26 rounds of chemo and 8 rounds of radiation in the coming year. She has had a port put in for all of her upcoming treatments. She has a big scar across her tummy and one less kidney. But for today she is still smiling. And she still has all her hair. So these photos are going to remind her of the week their lives changed forever,…and the week they found out exactly what they were made of.