What We Need To Survive

May 23, 2020
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Nothing in life calls upon us to be more courageous than the fact that it ends.  But on the other side of sorrow is love, wisdom and eventually, peace.
  
I get a sense that we are in the love & wisdom stage of Amanda’s fight with melanoma. That’s not to say that there isn’t any sorrow because there is plenty of that. The love & wisdom part shines brighter than anything else on Amanda though. Come to think of it, it always has.  

Amanda has been battling melanoma for a long time. It was roughly 7 years ago when she received the diagnosis of a more serious stage of cancer.  It was then that Amazing Amanda was born.  I like to think that she’s always been amazing but that this moment in her life is when we all got to see exactly what she’s made of.  

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I could go on an on about how hard she fights to extend her days. How she never gives up. How she advocated for herself and turned months into years. How she won over her doctors and took charge of her own path. How many paths she changed for other people. A non-profit charity was born out of Amanda’s fight and the years were filled with fierce support. Her friends and family rally around her. Raising awareness and money to fund research while bringing a lot of people together in her name. You know who else rallies around her? God. God does. In a way I’ve never seen before.

Amanda has a deep relationship with God and the spirit that guides her, comforts her and gives her strength. She’s allowed herself to be that vessel and it has impacted many lives. It’s certainly changed mine. Her faith is something to be envious of as she manages to bring you closer to God just by being in her presence.  She is fighting hard now. The covid-19 pandemic is throwing a challenge into this stage of her life but as I type this I hear, “This is his doing, God has plans for me Chica”…. I believe.

I got the privilege to photograph her and her grandiose support system during a rosary prayer held outside her house a few days ago. Words do not even begin to cover how touching & beautiful it was. How her community came together to love her in the way that only they can. It’s like they wrapped her and her family with a blanket from God filled with deep, deep faith in his plan for her and her family.

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Photographers get the opportunity to sit back, take it all in and look to feel the spirit in the room. I have to be honest and say that this event was overwhelming. It hit me like a ton of bricks and it was beautiful. It was a time to reflect, to show support, to be still and know. A ceremony to let the light teach us all what it means to be alive. To show us that what we need to survive is more than just what the body needs. It’s the faith and spirit that makes us all flourish when we are challenged with a plan we have no control over. It’s with all of this that Amanda’s spirit presents itself. It’s not defined by melanoma but by faith and courage that stops you every time you are in her presence. She has her facts by her side now and lets that carry her every step of the way. What a beautiful sight to see, Hallelujah.

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