I think I am every bit as nervous as I am excited about (finally) posting my first Capture What Matters blog post. Capture What Matters is a project created to put two of my passions together. Giving back, raising awareness and amazing stories mixed with my passion for storytelling photography and capturing real moments.
First of all, meet Cooper! Look at this little guy and tell me he hasn’t already put a smile on your face?! Cooper Clifford Kilmartin was born November 15th, 2016. Cooper’s incredible journey began at 18 weeks gestation when he was diagnosed with a genetic neural tube defect called Spina Bifida. He spent his first 3 weeks of life at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, where he underwent two major surgeries, his first at only 24 hours old. Spina Bifida means “split spine” and presents as an open lesion on the baby's back and causes some degree of nerve damage in the lower extremities. Due to the fact that the spine is exposed, it also causes the cerebellum (lower part of the back of the brain) to be pulled down and spinal fluid to not properly drain causing hydrocephalus. Despite Cooper’s challenges, his physical disability does not define who he is. Cooper was a happy little man during our session and not for one second did he let his condition cover his vibrant personality. Cooper is a beautiful little boy with more love to give than anyone could ask for. His story and his journey remind people every day of how challenging life can be but that every life is worth living. Cooper puts a smile on everyone’s face with his strength. He continues to visit Boston for follow-up care where he also gets his casts changed every week to help correct his bilateral clubfoot. Cooper is a fighter and one of the bravest little souls you could ever meet. Cooper future is unforeseen in some ways. During his session his parents were more than happy to answer all of my questions and they had so much faith in all that Cooper would do in life as he grows up. I remember dad saying, “ We’ll expect he doesn’t walk, but hope for the best” but no matter what this little boy is loved. He was brought into this world to do big things and to teach others that some chances in life are worth taking. For more information on SB: http://spinabifidaassociation.org
I met Coopers parents through my fiancé--his daddy and Andrew are golf buddies. I loved nothing more than to meet Cooper and enjoyed every minute with this nugget. It was a few days after that his mom posted to Facebook an update on his casts. With her permission I'm sharing her photos of his progress. It is amazing!