Once again this past year, I held a contest called Giving is Awesome that gives a free photo sessions to a deserving family. Melissa Neu wrote in sharing a story about her grandparents, and I chose them to be the winners. Here is Melissa's email...
I just read your blog about the Giving is Awesome and the first people that come to mind are my grandparents Orville and JoAnn VanCuren.
My grandfather worked for a union plant in Evart MI for most of his life, when the economy took a turn for the worse, the plant was closed and he was forced to retire. Soon after they got hit worse, since the plant had tanked my grandfather lost his pension. Now unable to work due to health and age, they are struggling just trying to buy enough groceries for the two of them let alone keep on top of their mortgage payments. To make matters worse my grandmother was diagnosed with throat cancer a couple years ago, after several chemo, radiation treatments, and surgeries, she is left with little voice and thousands owed in medical bills that Medicare is refusing to pay. Just this past week the dr's did a biopsy on my grandmothers thyroid and it turned out to be cancer. In most cases of thyroid cancer it is an easy fix to just remove the thyroid and be put on a hormone replacement. Unfortunately due to the severe scarring from all the treatments from her throat cancer if they remove her thyroid my grandmother will be left unable to talk for the rest of her life. What makes it worse is that my grandfather has lost most of his hearing, so they will be left in silence for the rest of their lives.
I would love for them to win this. Life is so precious and never a guarantee it would mean a lot to have photographs taken. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and considering them.
Thank you V family, it was my pleasure to meet and photograph your family. I hope you enjoy your photos!