I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with these two pretty young ladies Aryam and Amani. When I was first approached to take Sweet 16 photographs, I spoke with their Great Aunt Sally. After discussing their event and what would be the best option for them and their needs it was decided we would do a session at Lake Eola with the girls and their closest family members.
I knew Aryam was not feeling well but I didn’t realize she had been diagnosed with cancer of the stomach in April. When I met Aryam for the first time, I asked her how she was doing and she was like fine. I still had no clue. I couldn’t imagine being so brave at this age. Amani is quiet and has a great sense of humor. She is the one who made us all laugh first on the red bridge at Lake Eola. You can tell the two of them have a very strong bond and Aryam is protective over her little sister Amani.
All the family knew about Aryam being sick and everyone started to say prayers and send love for the family. Aryam’s wish was to spend time with family and have fun. This is when Amani said we have to have a party and with that statement, their Mom Mayra got planning! This party turned into a huge event.
During this time, Aryam was on extensive meds and doing test often to track her progress. I know the thought of losing a sister was tough on Amani. Both girls handled this tough situation very well!
Prayers were answered when the doctor cleared Aryam of cancer in the first week of July. She has no active cancer cells now!
Mayra contacted me a week before the party and asked me to be a part of the celebration. She asked for me to come and shoot for the main part of the formal events and then stay and celebrate with them afterwards. A little bird told Mayra I love to dance salsa and there was going to be plenty of dancing!
I still had no clue why the emotions where so high during this celebration. It wasn’t until after the party I got the full story. It was so much more than a normal birthday and a right of passage. Eighty percent of their family was from out of town and everyone’s heart was in such a different place. They were so excited to celebrate life, love, and family!
Girls, you have no idea how happy I am for the both of you! You both handled this situation with such grace! I’m very proud of both of you. I’m glad your Mom shared your story with me! God does know your plans for you both and you all have a great future ahead of you! -Jeremiah 29:11
Location: Salsa Heat Orlando, The Venetian Ballroom: http://salsaorlando.com/