This past January, I had the opportunity to fly out to Washington D.C. with my mother, to celebrate Anne Geddes’ accomplishments on her campaign Protecting Our Tomorrows. Anne became an advocate for meningococcal disease and the damaging affects it can have on any person. For those who are unaware, meningitis typically kills within 24 hours and has been known to be the fastest killing disease. Those who survive usually are impaired with life long complications, like myself, a new amputee. In Anne’s project, she photographed 15 survivors from all over the world, with a global initiative aimed at raising awareness and the importance of it’s prevention through vaccination.
I was lucky enough to be selected to represent the United States in the first photo seen in this blog post. When I arrived on set on a wintery day in Vancouver, I didn’t know what to expect, except for the fact that this would be the most professional photo-shoot that my advocacy career has ever embarked on! Haha. Meeting Anne was splendid, and her vision was even more impeccable. She showed me this statue of Helen of Troy that she found and wanted me to embody her. I was flattered, and couldn’t be more excited. The photo came out beautiful and Anne was able to create a wonderful Gallery in D.C. to show them all. There was an art gallery holding all of her portraits, and I was able to meet fellow survivor Kate from Canada. She’s almost done with high school and plans to go to college. It was really great to meet another photographed survivor. Not only is she beautiful but also she has a lot of charisma (Her photo is the second one, purple). Kate and I both spoke at the event, and Anne stepped up to the plate to knock the ball out of the park. Her theme throughout the campaign is Protect, Nurture, and Love. These words don’t shy away from the photos and what they portray. I am adding a link to Anne’s website where you will be able to see all of the other photographs. http://www.annegeddes.com/protecting-our-tomorrows-1/paired with life long complications, like myself, a new amputee. In Anne’s project, she photographed 15 survivors from all over the world, with a global initiative aimed at raising awareness and the importance of it’s prevention through vaccination.
It was a pleasure to be photographed by Anne, and I would love to do it any time, obviously. To step into her world, and meet her team, family, and be apart of her vision is something that I will forever hold dear to my heart. I was able to meet her daughters in Vancouver and see her husband again in D.C., and they are just as wonderful as she is.
As a component to Anne’s portrait series, we both share the same passion for meningococcal awareness because many people loose their lives to the disease without even knowing that they had the chance to protect themselves. When I became ill and stayed in a hospital for months at a time, I was disappointed to know that it all could have been prevented through a simple vaccine. I encourage everyone who hears my story, to take a moment and learn about the disease, and how easy it is to protect you from it. This passion of mine, is emotional, personal, and now has become my own motivating force to become an informative piece to an equation for a better tomorrow. Don’t wait, Vaccinate.
Thank you Anne for letting me be part of a global effort in protecting out tomorrow,