Marianna’s nominator writes:
My name is Amber Smith.  I am a kindergarten teacher in Marietta City.  I would like to nominate one of my former students for the fairy photo shoot. Marianna is a beautiful 6 year old little girl who loves all things princess, fairy, and Frozen!  
Marianna LOVES the movie Frozen.  Last year, she and a friend performed Let It Go for our school Talent Show.  Talk about a brave little girl!  I don’t know of many 6 year olds that are comfortable being on stage in front of a bunch of strangers!  But she did it, and she nailed it!!!  
Marianna works hard at everything she does.  Despite being sick, she still has a positive outlook on life.  She doesn’t let it hold her down or keep her from doing what she wants to do.  
Marianna was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the end of May 2014/early June 2014.  Since then, she has undergone a series of Chemo treatments.  The first round of treatments did not respond well with her body.  In fact, her body rejected the chemo.  Now she undergoing a more intense form of chemo. So far, so good.  Her body seems to be reacting well with the new chemo.  She had to take some steroids at the beginning of the summer, Because of the steroids and the chemo, she has gained some weight and now has lost all of her hair.  However, that doesn’t stop her!!!  Her grandmother recently took her to a public park. This was something that her parents were nervous about.  Not just because of the germs, but also because they weren’t sure how the other kids would react to her.   A little boy came up to her and said, “Why don’t you have any hair?”  Marianna’s reply was, “Because I have leukemia, and it made me lose my hair.  Want to play?”  Then the two became friends and played for the rest of the afternoon.  
That is just like Marianna.  She makes friends with everyone.  She is kind, caring, loving, and so respectful.  How could you not want to be friends with someone like that??  I would love to see Marianna become a fairy princess in a fairy photo shoot.  I truly believe that she would cherish these pictures forever!!!!  As would her parents, family, and everyone around her.  Please consider this precious, strong, and brave little girl.  She is so deserving!”
This girl.. I expected that the leukemia had hit her hard, and it has, but not in her energy level and not in her spirit. She LOOKS sick, but she doesn’t ACT sick. She’s a luminous fluff of energy, a magical little faerie who brightens everything around her. I had to squeeze her for a hug and she says “Oh please be careful, that’s my port right there!” and proceeds to show it to me, comfortable as you please. I think she taught me more about how chemo works than I’ve learned on my own! I asked her mother if she’d like me to bring a wig, she said sure, as long as it goes with the icy fairy theme.:PSo I got a white one. As soon as her daddy saw it he said “Awww, but I like her head.” I swore to him we’d get some without it.:)
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  • Patti A. - November 12, 2014 - 9:01 am

    What you do is so incredible. Your photos are priceless, and this ice fairy is just beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Kim Brandt - November 13, 2014 - 8:16 am

    I am Amber’s mom. I am friends with Anna Terrell and saw the photos you did for Marti Love. After hearing about Marianna, I told Amber “you have to nominate this precious child”. I am in aww just looking at the photos. The look in this child’s face says it all. You are a true angel for what you do for these children!ReplyCancel

Hannah’s nominator Laura writes Hannah is known around ESP as a beautiful smile, a sweet hand to hold & a social butterfly. Hannah is a friend to all and never meets a stranger and for a good reason. Not only does Hannah have the personality to light up a room, but Hannah has grown up around “camp”. Hannah and her family have chosen to selflessly give their lives serving Camp Twin Lakes. Her dad, Dan, is the Camp Director and helps provide a residential facility for camps like ESP and others who serve children with terminal illnesses. Although the job began long before Hannah, it is through their selfless devotion that they were prepared to look at Hannah as a blessing.

While her mother was ​18 weeks pregnant with Hannah, they received news that she has ​a partial midline-clef and ​could possibly have a number of other issues such a a brain disorder and a heart condition.  ​When she was born, Hannah‘s parents ​were overwhelmed yet thrilled that she was progressing despite her physical state such as ​being able to eat using a special bottle.  She was diagnosed with a rare and mild form of holoprosencephaly and they​were told at two weeks she may not live. At her two week check- up @  CHOA they​ were told she was losing weight but ​they​ refused to put her on a feeding tube and ​instead ​persevered. Hannah never had to use one. She soon started gaining weight and they​ figured out how to balance her calorie intake with the amount she burned eating. The​ family was told she would never walk and 18 months she started walking. Doctors said ​she would probably never talk due to her severe cleft and apraxia and while​ she is difficult to understand and her speech is limited, she is​ gaining ​more words and phrases daily!​ 

Despite​ 5 major surgeries, and several more still to come, Hannah ​is a very happy, energetic, joyful, and empathetic 7 year old little girl. She continues ​to prove doctors wrong. ​For this, I nominate the one who lights up a room, Hannah. I nominate her and her family for their dedication to such a worthy cause. Hannah and her family not only continue to journey through life despite these challenges while also making a difference in the life of others, but they do so with a smile.”

I think I was expecting something totally different from what I got the day of this session. I was expecting a slight, quiet child, who was going to sit and not really interact much.. Somehow, I must have missed Laura saying she was ‘energetic’ because within a minute of meeting her she was climbing on the roof of daddy’s big truck and scaring the wits out of me. This child does NOT stop. She’s super fun though. She clearly knows she was running us all ragged and thought it was pretty funny. I kept getting these little minuscule looks from her, just a flash across her face of an idea, and she was gone.. off doing whatever it was that had intrigued her so much, the rest of us just trying to keep up. She chattered at me constantly and I was pleased to understand most of it. Hannah’s sister joined us for the session and you can tell her loves Hannah to bits.
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  • Samantha - November 13, 2014 - 10:12 pm

    Stunning as always, Heather! Hannah is an incredible girl and I think you captured her personality and charm perfectly.ReplyCancel

These girls.. they’re SO incredibly different but both so beautiful! I don’t know how, but I swear I end up with the prettiest clients! Mom called wanting a special theme for her girls and she mentioned ‘the moon and stars’, so we rolled with that! I spent FOREVER making this moon, planning it to stay up straight.. then the wind that day was blowing it over left and right. Then the tips bent in the wind and wouldn’t stay. ::sigh:: So photoshopped out of that shot is mom, standing behind the moon.. holding it up.:P

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This pair of girls reminded me SO much of my sister and I. I felt like I was looking through a window back into my own childhood. The darker haired girl is like me.. laid back and goes with the flow. The lighter one is my sister.. always the clown. They’re actually triplets, they have a brother who didn’t want to be a fairy with them.:P

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