I had the honor and privilege of shooting for a non-profit organization's annual meeting. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I gathered up my equipment and set off for downtown Pittsburgh for what turned out to be a humbling experience.
In my alternate life, I'm a researcher specializing in brain plasticity. Here, I met children that suffer from a genetic, systemic disorder resulting in the de-mylenation of neurons, which eventually leads to death. In my alternate career, I specialize in dementia and brain plasticity, but this is a neural disorder I've never studied or encountered. This time, I was learning through experience rather than a textbook.
I suppose I was expecting sadness and disappointment around every turn. What else would one expect from a gathering of the families of terminal patients. But around every turn, I found love, laughter, light, and life. These people have such amazing social support networks and research teams as well as grace and patience in abundance. The embrace every moment. And we should too!
Seeing these children smile brought a light to my heart that will remain unparalleled.
Support them here: http://mldfoundation.org