Last fall I had the incredible pleasure and honor to meet Ashley—a senior in high school diagnosed with stage 4 Ewing’s Sarcoma cancer at the end of her junior year. I came to meet Ashley via a film project I was shooting for Pictage’s PartnerCon 2010. Over the past couple of months, we’ve been airing all the films from that series. This was the final one from the opening keynote. Whereas the first three films, RAW, Mirrors & Shoes, and A League of Her Own, were all directly related to photography, this was a little different. Yet, when you see the film I think you’ll see how it all comes together.
Pictage CEO Jim Collins put it best in his opening keynote address when talking about Ashely. She made a choice. A choice to handle her situation the way she is. What choices will you make in your business to handle your respective situation?
So many people in this world are touched by cancer. Chances are you are know someone close to you who has cancer or survived it. Or, someone you know has a loved one dealing with this deadly disease. Just during the time I was making this film, I personally was affected by it as a loved family member was stricken with breast cancer and had to have an emergency mastectomy. Cancer is not fun.
I call this film perhaps my most important one to date because in the midst of this tempest, Ashely is a strong spirit of hope and faith. She represents the best we all long to be. And her story shows us that there are much more important things in life than most of the things we actually tend to care or complain about. She gives us perspective.
So, the next time you’re complaining about the low priced photographer down the street, the evils of Bella, the proliferation of “Debbie Digitals”, the fact that the Academy snubbed your favorite auteur for an Oscar nod, or whatever it is that seems to be overly dramatized, remember Ashley. In the grand scheme of things, many of those complaints seem so insignificant. It’s amazing how much we can learn for such a young soul.
Tomorrow she is scheduled for her last chemo treatment. Pray it goes alright so that she can put that all behind her and start moving forward. Keep up to date on Ashley’s progress via her Caring Bridge site.
The Ashley Scott Benefit Account has been set up at First Tennessee Bank to offset the mounting medical expenses. Donations can be made at any First Tennessee Branch or by mailing to:
First Tennessee Bank
Attn: Nathan Harding / Ashley Scott Benefit Account
471 Sam Ridley Parkway West
Smyrna, TN 37167
Memo Line of Check to Include:
Ashley Scott Benefit (c/o Christina Shivers)
HOPE, FAITH AND PHOTOS FOR A CURE
Carla Lynn is organizing a very special event to help raise money for Ashley’s medical bills. Learn more about hopefaithphotosforacure.wordpress.com. If you’ve been moved by her story, consider making a donation yourself.