Akron Photo Series

Photography

We rode the glass elevator to the third floor and walked into the oncology ward. Children sitting in a glass room with bald heads, sipping on juice and watching cartoons. Their parents thumbed through newspapers or read stories to tired babies as they waited to see the doctor. Some kids wore masks and colored with crayons rubbed to tiny nubs. I stared through the fish tank at them. I didn’t mean to, but I did.

Of course this would be the floor that broke me. The tears stung my eyes and I blinked furiously to avoid a display of pity. Because, really, I didn’t pity them…their strength embarrassed me. Their ability to smile and play and jump made me realize that though I have the entirety of my health, I don’t smile, play, and jump as much as I should. Okay, maybe not the jumping part, but…well…you know.

I had the pleasure of touring Akron Children’s Hospital with Skip Cohen, as part of my trip to Ohio. I spoke at the Akron Photo Series and 25% of the event proceeds were donated to the hospital, so I wanted to see where it was going. And lemme tell you how blown away I was…this place is amazing. I’m incredibly thankful to live in such an amazing country with hospitals dedicated to helping children, regardless of their ability to pay.

Akron Children’s Hospital is creating an Expressive Therapy Center, an entire unit dedicated for patients to pursue art while they’re being cared for. A theater, a music production room, art supplies were being added during our tour. Skip offered his assistance in providing digital cameras and printers to the center I really hope for the best. Sara, our delightful tour guide, was such an amazing person. By the size of my smile in the following picture should let you know just how awesome I felt standing next to her. Clearly.

This is Molly. Skip’s dog…and JD’s newest best friend.

After touring the hospital, we went back to Skip and Sheila’s house so I could practice my presentation and JD decided to relax with Molly…

The presentation in Akron was amazing because from the minute the first people arrived (almost two hours early to boot!) they filled the ballroom with an incredible amount of energy and pizzazz. Do you like that word? I do. It has a lot of z’s.

I’m honored to have spent the evening with such an amazing group of photographers who traveled from as far as Lexington, Kentucky (they won a free Showit website for making that five-hour commute!) and who possess the power and drive to personalize their businesses on the web. I can honestly say this group is ready to flip Ohio upside down and inside out…and I love it.

Happy Thursday!