On November 6th, 2014, I lost my mother to cancer. I shared her story through the Salmo Search video, which really helped me deal with the immense pain of losing her and I hoped that it may help and encourage others as well.
I wanted to honor her selflessness and passion to help others and had been looking for the right organization to volunteer with to let her memory live on through me. I happened to come across the Facebook page for the Georgia chapter of Casting for Recovery and sent a message offering to help out. It may sound silly, but I honestly was anxious about this. I questioned whether I could emotionally handle it with the memories and images of my mom and her battle with cancer surely to be in the forefront of my mind.
I got an email from Beverly Booth asking if I would come up to Unicoi Outfitters and spend the day photographing a group of ladies on a retreat. I hesitated to hit the send button on my reply back to her…but only for a mere second. I was all in and put the date on my calendar immediately.
The morning of October 1st rolls around and I found myself standing in a cabin with about 35 other people. Amongst those people were women who are battling cancer or who had battled cancer and are in remission. There were also doctors, fishing guides, and numerous other volunteers…all there to support these women during their retreat.
Later on that morning, the ladies got to dip their wading boots into the cool waters of the Chattahoochee as it ebbed and flowed behind Unicoi Outfitters. I was amazed and their resolve and toughness. I simply took photos, hoping to help capture memories for them and to help promote the program.
After the day was done, I jumped in my truck and headed home. I recently did a lot of work on the old truck and hadn’t yet put the radio back in which meant I had an hour’s drive to let the day soak in. I realized I had taken more than I gave. I merely took pictures, but received so much emotional inspiration it seemed like I was stealing. Here are some of the shots from that day and I hope you can see the strength these women possess. I also hope that they move you to volunteer and help others any way you can. I promise you that you will walk away with more than you gave.