Sonora Family Photographer | Breast Cancer Warrior | Christine Dibble Photography
My kids have gone to school with Lani’s kids for years. We have bonded at sports practices and in the hours we spent sitting in the bleachers at wrestling tournaments. I have taken her family’s portraits before, and her daughter’s senior portraits last summer. So it was a shock when she announced–at a sports banquet for our kids!–that she had breast cancer. Suddenly she went from carting her kids to their numerous activities to doctor visits and chemo appointments. We had talked right before the holidays about doing family portraits before she started chemo and lost her hair, but things were so crazy that photos were pushed aside. Then she texted one day, asking what I was doing over the weekend. Her hair was starting to fall out, and she wanted photos of the family together and then photos of her head being shaved. Thankfully I was free! We went to a location close by for some outdoor shots. Lani kept her crackers nearby to help quell the nausea. We had to keep brushing hair from her shoulders, and we joked that a stiff breeze would make her look like a dandelion.
Then we moved on to my studio. After walking in, we realized that a pipe from upstairs had leaked through the ceiling and flooded everything. Thankfully the shooting spot was dry, and the chaos of drying and moving things helped ease the nerves, I think. Lani’s husband and boys were happy to take hold of the clippers. Shelby had a more difficult time, but she eventually stepped in to help neaten up the job the boys did. While it was an emotional event, Lani still attacked it with humor. I don’t think of it as cancer taking her hair; the cure is just borrowing it for a while for the fight! Not everyone can carry off a bare head, but Lani really does look beautiful still! And after the cure has kicked cancer’s butt, she will get her hair back!
There will be an event to help raise money to cover medical costs for Lani, and of course it is a fitness event! Zumba for Boobies will be held on April 10. There is more information here.