A month ago, a fellow photographer reached out to me via Facebook.
‘John, I got a request that I can not fulfill, but for some reason you were the first person I thought of for this task. Your style of photography is so personal and real...if you could possibly do it, I think it would be amazing.’
From that simple message, I met Joe Henson. When I heard his story and subsequently met him and his Mom (Angie) at Hopkins, my emotions covered the spectrum. As a parent, my insides (and very likely my outsides) were a mess. You see...I'm a fixer....and when I can't, well it just pains me. As a photographer, I felt like this was the kind of work that I was meant to be doing…and if it could help in any way to shed light, bring a sense of appreciation and tell the story of this brave young man and his family…that I would do whatever it took to do so. To do right by Joe. To do right by his Mom.
On this visit, I joined Joe and Angie for some time outside for sunshine therapy. It was a grey day and the wind was kicking up. Rain was on the horizon. Water fountains were nearby. Angie grabbed a leaf from a tree and put it in Joe’s hand. He never let go of it. Later, Joe underwent radiation. The mask he wears is painted like R2D2.
This coming Tuesday will be Joe’s last radiation treatment. Joe and Angie will hit a celebratory gong that day...and I’m confident that sound will be heard and felt in our cores. I’m hopeful it will signify brighter days ahead. After all, Fear Isn’t Real…
To find out more about Joe and how you can help, please visit: https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/9d55/fear-isn-t-real-helping-joe-henson