It means a lot to me to give back wherever possible and although I try to give to charity wherever I can, this year I decided I wanted to start using my own work to give directly to specific families. Few things are as precious or bring joy to our hearts as much as seeing the love within our own family reflected back to us in a photograph. So, I decided to regularly donate free ‘Give Back’ family shoots to families who may have been through a difficult time, or who for whatever reason really deserve a bit of kindness coming their way. In February I asked for the first round of nominations from readers of my Facebook page, and was overwhelmed by the response from so many kind-hearted souls, rooting for those close to them.
The winner of this first round was Jenny, nominated by her friend Tina. I can think of few families more deserving of some kindness coming their way. Jenny’s beautiful daughter, 3 year old Florence, has recently been diagnosed with a rare and devastating life-limiting condition called Late Infantile Gangliosidosis (GM1), which will take away her ability to walk, talk and swallow. Florence’s family have been told she will most likely not live past the age of ten.
There is a JustGiving page to try to raise money for some pioneering treatment, so if you can spare anything at all, please, please do help them. Proceeds will go towards supporting Florence with the best treatment possible, trying to get Florence to America to join the pioneering cure-GM1 trials, contributing towards equipment and adaptations to Florence’s house so she can stay at home with her family as long as possible, and making memories for Florence, her brother Riccardo and their family.
My heart absolutely breaks for this incredibly lovely family and I can’t imagine how painful this journey must be for them, but I will keep everything crossed that hope and treatment will be found in these new trials. In the meantime, I really hope that the family and their loved ones get some happiness and joy from the photographs we took that day. I was instantly bowled over by how much love there was between this family – it was tangible and visible the whole time. Florence is SUCH a sunny little soul – she smiled and giggled non-stop, and is so clearly so incredibly happy – it was comforting to see that from her perspective, all she now knows is deep, beautiful love. Her face lit up whenever she saw her big brother and mum and she was absolutely fearless, rampaging around and getting stuck into everything. I absolutely loved spending time with them and feel honoured to have met them all and shared such fun times.
I’ll post again soon requesting the next round of nominations for a free family shoot, but in the meantime, I would be so grateful if you could give whatever you can to help this beautiful little girl, and here are some photographs from this wonderful family’s shoot.