When I signed up with Inspiration through Art last year, I did so because it is important to me that I utilize my artistic medium to help people who need it most, whenever I have the opportunity to do so.  A few weeks ago I received an email from Sarah, inquiring about arranging a portrait session.  I called her up and we talked about  her son, Joshua.  He was born with 9 heart defects and at the age of 3.5 has already had multiple open heart surgeries and 2 strokes.  He suffers from hearing loss and kidney problems.  However, to see him, running and playing with his brother, you wouldn’t know.  He is beautiful, funny, loving and full of joy and wonder.

On the day of their session, Joshua was the first one to walk through the door- not shy or afraid at all.  He was so cute and had this adorable smile on his face!  His big brother Daniel was equally happy and excited.  I surprised Sarah by bringing in my makeup artist to give her a “mini” makeover prior to the photo shoot.  While she was working with my artist, I spent some time getting to know the boys.  They instantly warmed up to me as I showed them around the studio.  I asked Joshua to show me what he brought along with him for our photo shoot that day.  He went to his bag and pulled out a mickey mouse doll and a small white pillow with a picture of a heart on it and autographs from the many people who took care of him at Children’s hospital.   He explained that he got to meet Mickey at Disney World and that Mickey Mouse is his favorite!  We proceeded to start shooting while I talked with Joshua about what he likes to do and how much he likes preschool.   He showed me some sign language (both boys are proficient), told me that he likes fish, enjoys dancing, swimming and singing and when we were done he gave me a big hug after showing me his scar from his last surgery.  I was deeply moved by Joshua’s energy, love, strength, faith and most of all his beautiful smile!  He is an amazing little boy and his big brother Daniel is a caring and loving sibling, who seems to be so proud of his little brother.  I plan on staying in touch with Sarah and the boys and my studio will now be a future supporter of “Hearts of hope” of Michigan, in Joshua’s honor.  I consider it a blessing to have met this incredible “hero” and his family.  For more information on Congenital heart disease and Hearts of hope, Michigan, visit www.heartsofhopemi.org.

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