Thursday, October 06, 2011

Photo Shoot

A little over a month ago, I received an inbox message on Facebook from a longtime friend who works in the Marketing Department at Loma Linda University Medical Center. In addition to attending our previous church together, Shelly was one of my church camp counselors when I was around twelve years old.

Anyways, we talked on the phone later that day about a project that she is working on at work and Rachel came to mind when the project started to evolve.

In the main corridor of the hospital, on the ground floor, the hallway that leads to the cafeteria, they are working to create a project for the halls of that hallway. It will become the "I AM HALLWAY...".

They were searching for past and present patients that had a story to tell, obviously one that included Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Each patient will have an "I am" statement. For example a cancer survivors statement might be "I am a Survivor". And then they will place that statement with the patients picture and include a paragraph about that patient and their "I Am" Statement.

Today, we went to the professional photo shoot! It was pretty exciting. It's always been my intention to share Rachel's story to give hope and encouragement for other parents walking the same road, and always giving the Lord the glory for what He's done in her little life. So to be a part of this project is exciting!

When we arrived, of course there were consents to be signed. And then Rachel and I were given a list of "I AM" Statements, whereas we had to pick five that best described Rachel. I read all thirty of them to her and the ones she came up with were, and in this order : "child of God" (and I explained to the lady taking Rachel's story that not only does Rachel have Jesus in her heart, but for each and every one of Rachel's surgeries and throughout her journey, Rachel had people praying for her), "loved", "confident", "beautiful", and "brave" (for having gone through 5 surgeries already in her short life). The project team will go over all the statements that people chose, etc, etc. And then once a statement is chosen for Rachel, a short paragraph detailing her story and tie in with her "I Am" Statement will be published with her photo and placed on the wall!

Here Rachel is in make up. The make up stylist applied some powder to help with the glare of the lights on her face and a little bit of shimmery lip gloss. Shelly had told us to feel free to bring a couple outfits, and/or a stuffed animal, etc. What ever Rachel wanted to do to make the experience more comfortable for her.

I wasn't worried about Rachel not cooperating. But after watching her today, she's a natural for the professional camera! LOL. I stood there almost wondering if modeling or something even greater might be in her future. Here she is in position for her session with the camera.

The teddy bear she is holding is the one that Papa gave to her last year, the night before surgery. This bear not only went with Rachel to the hospital, but he got his own ID band and got to go to surgery with Rachel! The people we shared that story with today really got a kick out of that! And it is for that reason that Rachel chose to bring this bear with her to her photo shoot. And here, the photographer makes some adjustments and repositions Rachel for more pictures. She had changed outfits by this point. And here is Rachel at the end of her session with Shelly! Thank You Shelly for thinking of Rachel for this project! We are honored and cannot wait to see the end result!!Half way through Rachel's session, they wanted me in make up so that the photographer could snap some pictures of me with Rachel! I was NOT expecting that! Otherwise I would have dressed in a different shirt! But thankfully, after being assured by my Mom over a phone call on the way home, she loved the color shirt (lime green)I was wearing today! So I got make up and my hair softened up just a little bit. And hopefully in this day and age of technological magic, photoshop can work a little magic on me!

We cannot wait for the project to be finished and for the day we can go see our little Rachel gracing the walls of an institution that has played a major part in her life thus far.


Kari Marchelli said...

How exciting it is about her speech and how she gets to be a part of that project. Very encouraging to read. It reminds me that everything will turn out okay as I get ready to face surgery agin!

Kelly Rogers said...

That is so amazing! It is so wonderful that Rachel gets to be part of such a great project that will offer encouragement and hope to others. Rachel really was an inspiration to us as we were beginning the journey and so I am so happy to see that she will continue to fill that role for others. Her beautiful smile and positive attitude gave us comfort and peace during those times of uncertainty and worry. So thank you, Rachel, for being a part of this project!

Kim said...

What a wonderful experience for her!! Can't wait to see the final product (assuming you'll take pictures, of course).