Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

What does shine mean to me? I think it is the reflection of the faces of people who have graciously allowed me to snap their photo over the years. Thank you.

For more wonderful interpretations see: weekly photo challenge: shine

And The Best Picture Is: “The Broken Circle Breakdown”

circleAfter an impromptu ‘film conversation’ with Herman of http://hopedog.wordpress.com/ I had the immense good fortune of watching The Broken Circle Breakdown.

Here is what I learned from Herman before viewing: “The 39th annual Cesar Awards, France’s big film prizes handed out by the Academy of Cinema Technical Arts and Sciences, began yesterday evening at 9 p.m. at the historic Chatelet Theatre: Félix Van Groeningen’s Flemish romance drama “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” which is nominated for an Oscar, won best foreign film…”

This film plumbs the depths of relationships, spirituality, music, medicine and science unlike anything I have ever seen. I will not say any more, because I could cry and rant and sing as the characters do. Do not be fooled by the movie poster. Go to a theater, download from Amazon; do whatever you need to do to watch this amazing film…

Children, Poverty, Education, Hope- and Smiles

children3In a certain section of the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (population 3,384,569) live the poorest of the poor. Families are relegated to living among the city’s trash dumps, many begging for a living, to put food on the table. Organizations like The Berhan Yehun Project Ethiopia seek to aid the children of these families through education, medical care, food and school supplies; offering hope for a different future.

The Minnesota Connection

AzebAzeb Gebretsadik, a Social Worker at The West Seventh Community Center in St. Paul, MN, left Addis Ababa at 17 with her father and four sisters. They packed their belongings and within a few weeks were on their way to Nairobi, where they lived for 18 months before making the long journey to Minnesota.

Azeb knows there are many ways to give back to the people of Ethiopia, in particular the children. One day, she would like to establish a primary and secondary school in her native country. For now, she strives to meet smaller goals through her church Action Group (Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Minnesota) – raising funds for school supplies for children in need– not unlike The Berhan Yehun Project.

If you would like to join Azeb on the first step of her journey to help some kids in  one small community within Addis Ababa, visit Azeb’s wchildren2ebpage on Crowd Rise: http://www.crowdrise.com/azebgebretsadik#projects

Once child reached may light an entire community…and the ripples upon the water are eternal.

Make-A-Wish, Mashable and Bat Kid

No doubt many of you have seen the efforts of Mashable to spread the word about Miles, the little boy with leukemia, who’s express desire to the  Make-A-Wish Foundation was to be Batkid for a day. This morning I saw, to my absolute delight, the MOVIE TRAILER, made by YouTube user SandD2012648x444Where there may be darkness, shine light- and hope!




A few pictures and then some words:

For the last year I have been on a journey to figure out my “creative self”.

I know I love to work with, and photograph, kids. I also feel really good supporting the work of local organizations and I would do just about anything for free. This is where things start to fall apart. I have not had success finding meaningful work- that pays. I have decided it is time to set aside dreamy notions and get practical. Perhaps it is time to rethink everything…Hopefully, I will be back soon with a happy update. All my best, Christine

Childhood Cancer Survivors: A Post in Memory

ae3000_survivors_infographic_060713This morning’s obituary section listed a gentleman with whom I am acquainted. At 52, his career accomplishments are impressive. A loving family is left with memories of a talented, devoted father and husband. He died, of course, too young.

What the article does not mention is that he was a childhood cancer survivor. There are hundreds of thousands around the world. Brave people, many now well beyond their twenties who underwent treatment for leukemia, Hodgkin’s, brain tumors, and other malignancies. For some, the treatment was in its infancy.

A pioneering group of researchers at the University of Minnesota recognized the challenges and pitfalls inherent in the treatment of these young patients. In tandem with other standouts in the field of oncology, Dr. Ann Mertens, Les Robison, PhD, and Pediatric Oncologist, Dr. Joseph Neglia, launched a cohort study of 20,000 childhood cancer survivors (The Childhood Cancer Survivor Study). The research on individuals treated between 1970 and 1986 would, in effect, change the face of treatment as we know it today.

Combining forces with venerable institutions around the country and in Canada, a detailed, longitudinal process commenced that would look at the late effects of the radiation and chemotherapy used to treat childhood malignancies. As survival rates improved, so did the unintended consequence –adverse events such as cardiac complications, breast cancers, and second cancers.

Today, the key players are scattered. Dr. Les Robison is Chair, Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control at St. Jude’s in Memphis where the CCSS is now based; Dr. Ann Mertens is on the research faculty at Emory in Atlanta, and Dr. Joseph Neglia is Physician in Chief at Amplatz Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. All three remain committed to research leading to positive outcomes for children, ‘beyond the cure’.

For information on support and resources for Childhood Cancer Survivors, click here:

Childhood Cancer Survivors: Resources and More

Babies: My next frontier


emerson3 copyBWorton


Not long ago, one of our fellow bloggers, http://ohgodmywifeisgerman.com/, wrote about the baby boom he and his wife are noticing all around them. I am seeing it too, but through the lens. I am recruiting babies for “photo practice” and having a great time! There is an inevitable warm up period and then, I am learning, one must take hundreds of photos to find one or two that you might really like- not to mention the parents!

This little one had me laughing out loud. The second photo is quite suggestive of his initial thoughts about the whole photography idea…