Riley Hospital for Children has been a part of the Indianapolis medical community since 1924. I was fortunate that I never needed Riley’s services for my kids, but felt so fortunate that just 20 minutes from my door existed a place that could care for their every need. Four years ago I started photographing the Riley Hospital Cancer Prom and have enjoyed every minute of my time each year, participating in such a wonderful event. This year I was contacted by one of Riley Hospital’s nurse practitioners who had received a grant from the Women for Riley Foundation. The grant is called Remember Me Now and provides professional photography to inpatients and their families. The families are nominated by nurses, doctors, or they can self nominate. The children and families who are being served are in various situations healthwise….some have been in Riley for months, others are leaving after an extended stay and sadly others will be photographed before they pass. Each of the families that I have come in contact with thus far have been so grateful to have images of their child, regardless of the situation. It has been such a humbling experience to interact with these moms and dads and their children. I am grateful for the ability to provide them with the gift of photography and to give them lasting memories of their children. You might wonder why a parent would want to photograph their child during a time when they are not physically at their best. One of the moms told me recently, “I’m doing what every other parent does with their children at various ages…creating images to mark this time in their life. Good or bad, it’s my child, and the beauty of who he is always shines through.”
This is the first round of funding for this grant. I hope the Women of Riley, and everyone else, will see how important this grant is to the families it serves and will consider expanding the funding in the future. There are so many families to be served.