When I first met this family last week, I just knew we were going to have an amazing session. And I was right!
I met the Drapers through The Littlest Heroes Project, an organization I volunteer for. Through this group, I do photo sessions for families whose children deal with a number of illnesses and other challenges. The Draper's 3-year-old son Cole was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation last year and underwent surgery for it a few months ago.
Chiari malformation is a structural defect in the cerebellum. When the indented bony space at the lower rear of the skull is smaller than normal, the cerebellum and brain stem can be pushed downward. The resulting pressure on the cerebellum can block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (the liquid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord) and can cause a range of symptoms including dizziness, muscle weakness, numbness, vision problems, headache, and problems with balance and coordination.
Cole's mom told me that they first noticed something was wrong with Cole when he would grab the back of his head and scream. After a number of visits to the doctor, he was diagnosed with Chiari malformation. The surgery was successful, and now Cole is a happy, busy 3-year-old, who was so cooperative in front of the camera! Yay!
It truly was a pleasure to photograph this wonderful family.
Here's Cole! Who can resist that adorable face?
And here are some of my other favorites from our session: