Category Archives: Emma’s Hope

My mind has been so heavily on sweet little Emma, so I thought it was due time for an Emma’s Hope update.  So many of you have contacted me to see how she’s doing since my initial post and my ‘transplant day’ post.  By the looks of it, I know she must be feeling all the love and support surrounding her.  October is almost here so I wanted to provide an update so that everyone can see what a busy September Emma and her family have had down at Texas Children’s Hospital.  I’d love to be down in Houston myself to see her and her family – but being in Dallas makes it hard.  Thankfully her mom, Cathy, has been great about capturing the biggest moments as they come.

I’ve compiled a few of Cathy’s iPhone photos and a super cute video of Emma (you must watch all the way thru at 2:05 Emma starts really having fun with it!… watch out Miley Cyrus!)  To see more details – visit her FB page.

Emma's Hope Update on a little girl with severe aplastic anemia

Emma – you are amazing, beautiful and strong. One day when I grow up… I hope to be just like you! XOXO

Cathy – I’m in awe of your strength and I’m so proud to call you my friend.  You’ve surpassed any expectations of motherhood and I hope to one day be as amazing of a mother as you are to Emma and Mason.

*********************UPDATE as of 12n 9.27.11*************************

Emma will be released from the hospital this afternoon!!!  She will now be living in their temporary apartment in Houston, close to the hospital. They are both very excited!!!  Doctors unhooked her from IVs today and she’s now able to swallow pills.  She will have to wear a mask when she leaves the apartment to go to her various doctors appointments.  Congrats Emma!!!!  I know the hospital is great and all…but there is nothing like a cozy home with your family!

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  • Leah - So amazing for you to capture these moments! Something I am sure you and now them, will never be able to forget!ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen Gause - Oh my goodness!!! How amazing and precious and inspiring… wow. I LOVE the video! What a little fire in her heart!!! Your images are such a beautiful way of sharing their story of hope.ReplyCancel

  • Krista Lund - this is so sweet! emma, you are in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

  • Aimee - This family is beautiful. You captured their love and support for each other. These photos and family are tugging at my heart. I will be thinking of them.ReplyCancel

  • wendy - I’m so happy to see good things progressing with sweet Emma. And what a supportive mama to shave her head too. Keep us updated on her progress. You are a wonderful support for this family, Jenny.ReplyCancel

  • Shannon Harrison - Jenny, I cannot even imagine how heart breaking this must have been to photograph but I’m so glad you did because this family are my heroes 🙂 Pure simple love pours from each of these images. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Callie - thanks so much for sharing this amazing little girl’s story. what a gift for them. The whole family seems amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - What a brave, amazing little girl. It brings tears to my eyes. And what an awesome mom! I’d shave my head for my girl, too. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Angela - Oh wow. I’m so glad you can provide these images for this family in such a difficult time. I’m sure they are so blessed.ReplyCancel

  • hope - beautiful post. thanks for bring awareness to this. she is a lovely girl…really they are a lovely family. i love your heart jenny!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Moore {Tucson AZ Photographer} - Oh Jenny this melts my heart. She is such a beautiful little girl and has such a beautiful soul. What an amazing Mom to shave her head too, my heart feels heavy with love! Please keep us updated.ReplyCancel

  • Jenna - I am always inspired by your work. You do such an awesome job! So inspiring to see a family support their girl during such a difficult time. Love the shaved heads one.ReplyCancel

  • Cecilia M. - My gosh, thank you so much for sharing Emma’s story, one of hope and survival. I hope Emma has a swift recovery, what an awesome mama & brother she has. Please let me know if they ever need anything here in Houston!ReplyCancel

Today is a big day at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, TX.  This morning big brother Mason starts the extraction of his bone marrow that will ultimately be given to his 5 year old sister Emma to help fight her severe aplastic anemia.  If you aren’t familiar with Emma’s story – then please catch up on this page set up for her and from this post from my shoot with her.  She started chemotherapy last Thursday and did rather well until Monday morning.  The long road has officially begun and thoughts and prayers are certainly needed and appreciated.  I’ve had a few requests on sending something directly to Emma and/or Mason.  If you are interested please email me and I can give you the exact mailing address at the hospital.  Additionally – starting this fall, I’ll be putting together a donation opportunity for Emma via my fall photo shoots…stay tuned.

Chirafis Family – stay strong and know that you have so many people thinking of, praying for and supporting you throughout this entire process.  Love you all…

brother and sister embrace in a field at sunset

Emma’s Full Story

Emma & her family photo session

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Not sure where to start with this post as this family session was so very special for me.   A little over a month ago I received and email from a girl named Angie.   Immediately when I saw her name I was taken back to my high school years.  You see, Angie is the big sister of one of my best friends from high school, Cathy.   As soon as I read the first sentence of the email I knew whatever happened I had to make this session possible.  Very long story short – Angie informed me that Cathy’s 4yr old daughter was recently diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia and her best hope for a cure was to have a bone marrow transplant.  Matches for that can almost be impossible but recently they were lucky enough to find out that her brother was a match.  In September he will be helping his sister fight for her life by donating his bone marrow to her.

I’ve set up a permanent place on my blog for Emma.  Click here and you’ll see a slideshow storyline of her situation with more specific details.  On this page you can also discover ways that you can help Emma and her family.

With this news, I traveled down to my hometown of Beaumont, TX to photograph Emma and her family.  They wanted images to remind them of where they are right now in this moment.  Their lives will be flipped upside down with this illness and I’ll continue to document what I can as their family goes through this.  But for now – they have these memories of their wonderful family during our two jam packed days of shooting, laughing and smiling!

I can’t tell you how great it was seeing Cathy and her family.  We haven’t seen each other since our reunion in 2004 but she’s one of those people you can just pick right back up with.  Her kids are amazing beyond words and her sisters family is pretty great too!  I spent a majority of my time photographing Emma (and her many wonderful outfits) but then of course had to sneak some in of her cousins (at the end of the post).  Thank you all for thinking of me to do this for you.  Each of you are in my thoughts daily.

If you’d like to find out more about Emma’s story, see more images and discover ways you can help – then click here.   Their bills will be plenty and their road will be long – so please know that anything you can do to help out is more than appreciated!  Thank you….

family of four sits at sunset and siblings embracelittle girl sits on steps of old hom and young boy relaxes at sunset in barnyoung girl with gorgeous eyes dressed up in purple frilly outfit family of four sits at sunset on a green farm roadyoung girl dresses up in pink cowgirl outift and smiles in pigtails and sits at sunsetsweet moment of mother and son embracingyoung girl's hair blows in the wind at sunset and little sister kisses big brotheryoung girl plays dress up in purple ballerina outfit at sunset on a farmsweet moment of mother and daughter embracing and laughing at sunsetyoung beautiful girl dresses up as a princess and rests on farm fencefather and son on a farm at sunsetyoung girl in pink cowgirl outfit thinks outside barn on farm at sunsetteen girl wears summer hat with pigtails during sunset photo sessionyoung boy laughs and thinks on sunset farm jenny watts the photographer hugs on her sweet little cowgirl at sunset on a farmLove that last image of Emma and I.  Thank you Angie for taking the camera for me!  Love you Emma!!!

Again – if you’d like to help Emma and her family… CLICK HERE

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