Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Dainty Warrior Celebration

She has waited patiently for her day to celebrate cancer freedom! 

The day is HERE!! 

Our dear Dainty Warrior,  Ania Elaine had her MRI come back CLEAR! Thank the Lord!!! This journey is ending and we are ready to close the chapter on this warrior's cancer saga.  We have had many followers and many of you have lifted her (and our family) up in good thoughts and prayer. We will never be able to say thank you enough.  Writing and sharing about Ania has been such a therapy for me personally and someday I am happy to know Ania will be able to read the "Dainty Warrior Story" and I hope it brings her strength and confidence that she might not have known otherwise. At the age of 4, she has impacted so many people.  Her joy, bravery, creativity and spirit has been so evident throughout her journey.  Mike and I are incredibly proud to be her parents - she has taught us what real strength looks like.  We are better people because of this experience as I think it forced us to take a step back and realize how quickly life as we knew it could change. We are all handed trials in our lifetimes - however, the way in which you learn, move along and move past those trials is what life is really about.  Will you be stuck in darkness or will you keep making your way in the midst of fear of the unknown? Now that this chapter is ending for us, what will we do to keep this momentum of growth and perspective? Well, for starters, our children will not stop growing. That right there reminds us constantly that time is moving fast so we will really savor each day and each birthday because you will never know how many there will be.  We will continue to give back and do our part raising awareness for childhood cancer.  We are one of the lucky ones - our child is a survivor.  Many children do not survive and there is much work to be done to have more outcomes to childhood cancer end like ours.

Ania is one of MANY Dainty Warriors out there. Our hope is that her story sparked an awareness in YOU about childhood cancer. May that spark stay lit up for all the warriors to follow in Ania's shoes.... or wings! 

   Now, It's Time to Celebrate!

A few weeks ago, my dear cousin Ashley Hayhurst took pictures of Ania that were inspired by one of Ania's most recent paintings titled "Up She Goes". The idea was to take Ania out in her element - NATURE...with a rainbow of balloons! 


After the balloon shots, of course we had to let her run around the woods in her WINGS!


And after the butterfly's flight, she headed deeper into the woods for a tea party with her little brother and special lovey friends, Rosie, Riley, Ellie & Miss Olga!



I Rose
I rose, I rose,
From the trampled soil
I rose, I rose
To become the cynosure of your eye
Alike me, many more shall
rise and thrive
If given a small chance to
dream and aspire.
Now friends, you might be
just wondering
As to who I am
So let me to life's
opportunities raise a toast
And tell you,
I am a rose,
the flower rose.
--Rajesh Thankappan

Blessings to All, 

The Moriarty Family

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Photographers Eye on The Journey

Is little brother the photographer behind all these images? ;) 

Like many parents, I really love to take photos of my children and the images Ive taken of Ania over the course of her cancer journey have been impactful and candid- all be it with my camera phone! There is something completely magical allowing a professional take images of your child.  There is  artistry and craft behind a "real" photographers eye- and having a really good camera that doesn't also make phone calls helps the real beauty of a captured moment shine!

So, I am going to let the following photographs that were taken of Ania over the last year do most of the talking..... and I will give credit where credit is due to the magicians behind the lens....

March 2014- After 4 rounds of failed intra-arterial chemotherapy, we were given the somber news that we would have to remove her left eye.  Before that happened, we decided to have photographs taken of our family.  The lovely Eva Suerth captured Ania as she danced and put on silk butterfly wings for the first time.....



April 2014 - After her left eye was removed, Ania wore eye patches to conceal her healing eye (she liked wearing them because she had so many fun designs! Ania was photographed for The Little Lutheran magazine by photographer Mike Watson. I love these images so much because they are the essence of Ania's life right after her eye removal- she didn't skip a beat and she just kept on painting with that one fantastic eye!


After April, there was such a transitional appearance time. Her hair began to fall out and she went through several phases of prosthetic eyes. In July 2014 when Ania was halfway through her chemo regimen, we returned to Eva Suerth's studio to do a photo session of the new Ania- new "hair" and new eye. What resulted was a very ballet focused session- the studio became Ania's "stage" as she danced along to The Nutcracker soundtrack for the action shots. She is quite a serious performer as you can see!

July 2014-

Now that treatment is finished, it was time to do a celebratory photography session and my dear cousin Ashley did an inspired session the first week of October. However, I've decided to withhold those images and publish them on the blog next week on the day that marks the one year anniversary- so we can celebrate rather than dwell on a very scary time. Here is a teaser though ;) 

God Bless,