I’ve debated with myself for nearly a year about whether or not I should write this post. It’s possibly one of the most personal things I have ever written…close friends and family may not even be aware of it. I’ve finally realized that it IS important to share.

Exactly 17 years ago to the day, only days before my 13th birthday, I was undergoing my third childhood surgery. I had been born with a tumor in my hand and that bad boy was relentless – he just kept wanting to come back. When I woke up, I learned that had I not received that last surgery, my life would have changed forever…and I’ve never forgotten that.

The doctor said that had I waited any longer, I would have lost my hand. As a child you think of not being able to play or do you hair but as I began photographing, it’s made me see the world differently.

I’ve found myself secretly appreciating every time my finger taps the shutter button, every time my hand supports my child (aka my camera)…because I almost didn’t have that. While I’ve encountered nerve damage and such that disallows me from doing certain things, I can’t stop being grateful. Photography feels like more than a passion for me; something that could have been yanked away before I even had it.

We take far too many things for granted. Take some time and appreciate what you have…because your life could have been so different without it.