I am always amazed by those who do good. Stacey & James are those people. They are grateful. They are joyful. They are generous. All when the hour seemed unlucky and the lights nearly out.
Spend an hour with them and it becomes clear - Gratitude is not shared only by the lucky ones. Joy can be embraced in the darkest hour. Giving is possible, even when you feel you have nothing to give. And in all of this, we have a choice to travel the brightest path.
In January, cancer knocked on their door - Stacey's Mom, Wendy, began her fist-to-fist fight against aggressive breast cancer. The reaction to chemotherapy did not go over well and an otherwise, continued plan for a Palm Springs wedding would soon change. In a matter of weeks, Stacey & James relocated their wedding to Denver as the risk of her mother not making it to the wedding became too great.
All of this and they had no time for pity. Instead, choosing to overcome their circumstances in an extraordinary act of selflessness - they decided to make their wedding a celebration toward a cure. And that is was. Tying in a fundraising element to the big day, Stacey & James sought out vendors and venues that would be able to donate their services so that the newlyweds could donate their wedding funds, instead, to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center.
When I first heard of their story and their cause, I was overwhelmed by a need to do something, anything. I had been put in my place by someone who - instead of worrying about the shade of her table linens - worried what the next round of chemo would bring. My camera cannot cure cancer, but caretakers need caretakers too. So I showed up and looked for the light in this difficult chapter of their lives, and what I found is that didn't have to look far at all. Here is a family that does not take anything for granted, a family with great joy and deep love. They are proof that it is never too late for the strength of the human spirit to surprise us.
Stacey & James - the world is a better place because of the journey you have taken, the lives you change, the eyes you open. Your generosity and courage will touch the lives of so many others equally as determined to choose joy EVERY DAY. Here is to you, your beautiful hearts, and one step closer to a cure.
A very special thanks to Randy at Shutterbooth who helped Stacey with their vision for a donation-based PhotoBooth at their reception. All proceeds went to the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center and Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Some of those doing good include:
The Oxford Hotel, The Jet Hotel, Epicurean Catering, flowers by Abloom, Mulberries Cake Shop, DJ Ty Tek, and Shutterbooth.
A very special thanks to my good friend Erin at the Oxford Hotel for sending this beautiful couple our way - and to the very talented Kate Borgelt for donating her time as well.
To add your name to the list and help Wendy and millions of other women kick cancer in the pants, donate here to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. anything helps!
With admiration & hope,