Bella (age 2)... / by Julie Cruz

Every once in a while, you meet someone who changes a part of you. I knew before Bella's session (with her mom, aunt (who is pregnant and due with a little girl cousin for Bella soon!) and grandma) that Bella was recently diagnosed with cancer. I had no idea how the shoot would go. She had just gotten out of the hospital the day before the shoot, so I wasn't sure if she would be sick, not feeling well, in pain, etc. I was a huge ball of emotions (nervous, happy (to be meeting them), sad, afraid that I would spend the shoot in tears, etc). Well out from the car comes the most gorgeous little girl with the biggest smile ever. Bella was so ridiculously fun, giggly, sweet and full of life. Besides the hair that she recently lost due to chemo, you would have NO idea that this sweet pea had cancer. I had an amazing time watching her run around, pick flowers and proceed to pick off petals, saying "He loooves me. He loves me not. He loooves me. He loves me not" and my goodness, she chatted on in full sentences about everything and anything :) During the shoot, her mom and aunt played songs (including her favorite song "American Honey" by Lady Antebellum") and sang (crazy good, I might add) to Bella. Before I get to Bella's photos, I would love to ask all of you to *please* keep this sweet pea in your thoughts and prayers. Here is some info about Bella (along with some photos), from her mom: "Bella was diagnosed with nueroblastoma 2 weeks after her 2nd birthday, her right eye had been being pushed up and it made her eye look lazy, which led to 2 opthamologists and eventually an MRI that found two tumors in her head. The following scans and tests over a 10 day stretch in the hospital revealed the main tumor on her left adrenal gland (which has since been removed)."

Those little red curls remind me of Disney's newest "princess" (Merida) in the movie "Brave" :)


Hair or no hair, Bella is absolutely gorgeous. Grandma said it best at the shoot..."bald is beautiful"!...