Naomi contacted me when she saw my post on facebook during breast cancer awareness month about doing a session for her family. It was not her that had cancer but her husband Ian was recently diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. He is 34. After many scheduling conflicts we finally found a date that would work around Ian’s chemo schedule. I am more than blessed to have met this family. I know God has a plan for them and he is doing great things. Here is their story in their own words. Pray for Ian that The Lord will bring quick healing to his body.
We are the Butlers! Ian, Naomi, Madelyn (10), Claire (2), and Baby Butler who is due to arrive mid-April 2014! Ian is a CPA (accountant) for a company in Bethesda MD. Naomi is an RN at INOVA Fairfax Hospital working just one nightshift a week. Madelyn is in 4th grade at Providence Elementary in Fairfax. She loves geography and art class, and she also takes jazz dance classes. She’s a talkative, bubbly girl, and is an awesome big sister. Claire is almost 2 and is a bright little girl – she can already say her ABC’s, count to 12, and sing 5 or 6 songs! She amazes us every day!
Ian was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia called Acute Biphenotypic Leukemia (both AML and ALL) on September 21, 2013. This came as a complete shock to everyone who knows Ian – 34 years old, in great physical shape doing Cross-Fit heavily over the summer, never sick a day in his life, and no past medical history besides mild hypothyroidism. He had routine blood work done for a physical and immediately they found concerns and 2 days later instructed him to go to the hospital to be worked up for acute leukemia. There’s much that has happened since his initial diagnosis, but he is currently on round 3 of chemotherapy and due to the aggressive nature of this type of leukemia, he is looking to get a bone marrow transplant in early January. The transplant provides the only long-term chance of survival, chemotherapy alone is not enough.
We are graciously supported by our church family, Sojourn Church, and many friends and family who are constantly lifting us up in prayer. While this surprise diagnosis is scary and makes the future for us so uncertain, God has given us a peace that this is where He wants our family at this point in time and somehow He is working this out for our good and His glory! God is glorified when we are most satisfied in Him, and the Gospel is MORE than enough and MORE than we ever deserve, even when other things are taken from us. It’s all of grace, every good thing that we have, and through this we want to learn to take joy in God despite whatever we experience through this journey, and prove that we can live in the Spirit with true contentment despite whatever physical hardships that present themselves.
Even through everything they remember to have fun together. 🙂 I will be praying for you guys. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your story.
Meet Hannah. Millbrook High School senior. Hannah is beautiful, smart and full of life. I had so much fun and this is probably one of my favorite shoots to date. The lighting was perfect and Hannah was exquisite. Thank you for the laughs clapping snakes away. She even had a firefly land on her hand.
Look at the Firefly that landed on her hand.
I pray you have an amazing senior year and I am so excited to see who you become. – Jillian
This is Natalie. She is two of my best friends little girl and I love her to death. I have had SO much fun photographing her from when she was in her mommy’s belly. 🙂 Starting my business a year and a half ago Natalie has given me a lot of practice. I am so proud to be her Aunt Jilly.
So this is my first post on my new blog and I couldn’t be prouder that this is the first. As some of you know I am a Breast Cancer survivor and a photographer blessed us with family pictures on my 5 year wedding anniversary and also 3 days before I had a bilateral mastectomy in 2010. As I grew to love photography even more and started my own business, I wanted to be able to do the same for other woman facing something along the same lines I was facing. So here it is, my very first blog post as Jillian Green Photography. The woman I have had immense pleasure to get to know and then photograph her family is a warrior. She had to make a decision I never had to make because it was pretty much made for me. She is strong, beautiful and a fighter. I am blessed to call her friend. Please read this story written by Leslie and keep her in your prayers, she still has a long road ahead.
I am not a hero, I do not have superpowers and I do not have anything to prove. I am like so many people that have been impacted by the dreaded “C” word…CANCER. I have lost an aunt, cousins, and most recently my best friend/mother. I knew my family history of breast cancer presented an ominous cloud of an almost certain future diagnosis.
After genetic counseling and testing revealed that I had a 1 in 4 chance of developing breast cancer, even though I did not test positive for the BRCA gene but based on family history. With all my options thoroughly explored, I decided to pursue a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. “Why?” some people might ask. My answer is simple; “because I want to live.” For me early detection was quite honestly not enough. I wanted prevention!!!
At 37, I am a wife, and a mother of two young children. My family means everything to me. I want to be a role model for my children and a support for other women facing such uncertainty. As I watch my children grow I have found comfort and strength in their innocence. Wanting to keep them safe, protect them from harm and most of all keep them from experiencing sadness and pain as most mother’s do. Observing the daily smiles that light their faces, hearing the purity of their laughter brings joy and purpose to my life that is beyond words, further providing confirmation of my decision.
My mother will never have the opportunity to experience many of her grandchildren’s milestones. Cancer took that away from her. However I will fight, I will mentally push through now, so that I too do not miss out. I have been given the opportunity my own mother never had – I have chosen to spare my children the pain of a hospitalized and sick mother by undergoing surgery now. My mother’s absence is felt daily leaving an enormous whole in my heart, yet her strength, courage and love of her family remains with me throughout this journey.
This decision was not one that I took lightly; it was not an easy choice by any means, but it certainly was the right choice.