A couple of months ago I received an email from a mom, Ashley, asking about filming her son Casen’s first birthday party. We’ve done a few of these parties in the last year and they have been such a special treat for me. The date of Casen’s party happened to coincide with our biggest shoot day for Travis Mills’ documentary film; but as soon as I visited Casen’s Facebook support page – Prayers for Casen – and saw his sweet little face, I knew I couldn’t pass this up.
At just six months old, Casen was diagnosed with Stage 3B Neuroblastoma and immediately began chemotherapy. On January 17, 2013, after months of treatment, Casen was officially cancer-free – so you can imagine just how especially meaningful and emotional his first birthday was.
As predicted, Casen is even cuter in person. He’s so calm and chill (or at least he faked it well at his party 🙂 ) and just enjoyed being passed around for snuggles and hugs. He wasn’t a huge fan of getting too messy with his cake frosting, but after a few nibbles he seemed to warm up to it. It’s clear from his party he already has a few baby girlfriend admirers.
I loved this song because I thought of Ashley as soon as I heard it. It perfectly describes the love and dedication she has for Casen and the way she cherishes each and every moment with him. Being a mom is a challenging job in and of itself. I can’t imagine what it’s like to see your sweet baby going through chemo treatments, experiencing many of those fun first-year baby milestones in a hospital bed, nervously waiting on each new round of test results, and dealing with unpredictable late-night trips to the hospital.
Anyone who has a friend or loved one who has battled cancer knows that “canecr-free” is a term used with much caution. Although Casen’s current tests continue to show no signs of cancer, there are still unknown illnesses and surprise trips to the hospital as the result of Casen’s treatment and related procedures. Please keep Casen, Ashley and their family in your prayers. You can follow Casen’s journey and share words of encouragement for Casen and Ashley on his Facebook support page – Prayers for Casen.
Casen’s custom birthday t-shirt was made by Jodi Pierce of ‘3 Charms Boutique’ – https://www.facebook.com/3CharmsBoutique
Birthday banner photo by Kendra Trevino of KT Photography – www.ktphotographyspot.com
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