The Adventures of Super Sammy {Melyna Fang Portraits, North Valley Photographer}

5:47 PM

This spring, I posted about a family portrait session I photographed for a very special family. This was the third session I'd photographed for them, and had gotten to know them a bit. I had even had them over to my house for brunch. I discovered we had some things in common (as both our families come from military and law enforcement backgrounds), and in my blog post, I even wrote, "My client's family is much like my own in some important ways--albeit younger--in our love for family, God, and country." Unfortunately, this fall, we discovered their family and my family have one more thing in common that we wish we hadn't: a young son diagnosed with childhood cancer. 

My son, Sean, was diagnosed in December 2008 at age 3 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Fortunately, after nearly 3 1/2 years of chemotheraphy, blood transfusions, and spinal taps, plus all the needle pokes, compromised immune system, side affects of treatment, hospitalizations for dangerous infections, etc., etc., he is now cancer-free, healthy, and thriving because of the great care he received from his pediatrician and the staff at Phoenix Children's Hospital

I was in utter disbelief when this fall, their 4 year-old son, Sammy, was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma--brain cancer. We had been down that long, dark road of a child's cancer diagnosis, and I never wanted to have that in common with anyone I know. I was heartbroken that such a sweet, smiley little boy like Sammy had to go through this.  

Sammy's parents, family, and friends are doing as much as they can to support Sammy through this rough road. His mom has set up a website where you can follow his progress: . You can also follow him on Facebook at:  . The following link will take you to a piece ABC15 did on Sammy and his family which discusses more of the side affects from his treatment: .

Not only is a cancer diagnosis physically & emotionally devastating for the patient, and emotionally devastating for the family, it is also financially devastating. Unfortunately, while top of the line cancer care is often miraculous, it is not cheap. Even with insurance coverage, everything is not covered: family members miss work, quality childcare is a new cost, etc. All the extra costs are in addition to the normal bills the family must pay--not to mention the fact that it is Christmastime!

If you'd like to assist Sammy and his family with some of the costs related to his care, there are a couple of options at this time. You may donate any amount, no matter how small, to: . There is also a fundraiser in the form of a yard sale on January 20 & 21 at Desert Hills Baptist Church in Buckeye (

There are also a couple of ways you may support Sammy in spirit. Constant prayer for Sammy and his family are always needed and helpful. Coming from a military/first-responder family, his parents have requested military/first-responders to send Sammy their favorite challenge coin. There is more information, including his mailing address, is in this Adventures of Super Sammy blogpost:  Finally, Sammy's birthday is coming up soon--he will be turning 5 on January 16. A friend has set up a campaign requesting birthday cards for Sammy (

God Bless you, Super Sammy! So many people are thinking of you and praying for you, buddy!

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