March 2nd, 1993 – June 3rd, 2015
On June 3rd, 2015, my beautiful baby sister Kelly passed away. She had a very different experience growing up and faced many challenges that few of us will ever understand. Enduring a heart transplant at the age of 10, she had both mental and physical problems her entire life which eventually caught up with her. Because of her compromised state of health, her immune system had a difficult time fighting off infection. On June 2nd, she contracted pneumonia, which proved too much for her to handle.
Despite all of her hardships growing up and having every reason to be disappointed with life, she was exactly the opposite – she almost always had a smile on her face and had an incredibly positive outlook on life. She found joy in even the smallest things in life and loved every minute of the time she spent here on Earth. She had a unique effect on those that were around her – their spirits were uplifted and gave those that spent time with her the same positive and happy vibes that she had.
Because of Kelly’s positive outlook, I can say with confidence that she is the strongest, bravest individual I have ever known. She has taught me not to take anything for granted and to cherish every little detail in life, and we can all learn something based on how she spent her days. My hope for this message is that next time you are having a bad day, to think of Kelly, to think of her challenges, and know that even though she had so much to fear and every reason to hate life, she didn’t. Love life and cherish every moment of it.
It’s because of Kelly’s beautiful and amazing outlook on life that I dedicate my photography career and life’s work to her memory. My life goal is in her name, to pour the same beauty and love into my photographs that she shared with the world. I love you very much, and I hope one day you’ll be as proud of your big brother as I was of you.