Fotolanthropy, Altar’d State and Seniorologie are sooooo excited to announce the winner of our Teen Fotostory. All of the nominations were so inspiring and we are so grateful to have gotten to know each of these amazing teens.
We thought it would be wonderful to show the reaction of the teen that won so we did a fun group Skype call this morning to share the news with this amazing teen. The video of that call is below, along with this teen’s amazing and inspirational story!!
Be sure to keep up with Fotolanthropy, Seniorologie, and Altar’d State so that you can see the premiere of the Teen Fotostory Film and photo shoot which will debut in early 2013! Thank you to everyone who followed these stories, nominated teens, sent encouraging words and prayed for these teens. Without your support we would not be able to give the wonderful gift of photography!!
To see more of Bayleigh’s story or to send her words of encouragement, check out her websites and read her story below.
Caring Bridge site: caringbridge.org/visit/
bayleighphillipsPray for Bayleigh site: https://www.facebook.com/ groups/346043845814/?fref=tsHere is her original Nomination form below. We are so excited that Fotolanthropy, Seniorologie and Altar’d State will be traveling to Alabama to capture Bailey’s story!!
We have received so many wonderful stories over the past few weeks through our Teen Fotostory project, and we are so excited to share them with you! All this week we will be sharing one story a day and will share the winner of the Teen Fotostory on Friday.
Fotolanthropy, Seniorologie, Altar’d State have all been touched by the teens that were nominated. They have all been through so much and they have all had remarkable strength! We received so many stories and it was so hard to pick but we have narrowed it down to five and want to share them with you.
Bayleigh Nominee #1
Heart of gold. Diagnosed with a brain tumor. Encouraging all around her
Below is the story of Bayleigh. Bayleigh is a 15-year-old teen from Alabama with a brain tumor that was first discovered when she was nine. Even though Bayleigh has been through rounds of chemo and has had several surgeries, her spirit has always remained upbeat and she has lived life to the fullest. With over 2,000,000 views on her caring bridge site, Bayleigh has been able to share her spirit and story with a lot of people.
Bayleigh was nominated by her former camp counselor and fotocrew member, Bayleigh Malone. Below Bayleigh shares the reason she nominated this vivacious teen.
Please describe the story of the nominee in full detail:
In college, I would volunteer each summer at a pediatric oncology camp. Bayleigh was the very first camper that I met on my first day, and I was so pumped she was mine for the week. She was 10 years old, and such a spit fire. As the week went on, and she told me bits and pieces of her story, I was in disbelief. How could this kid who was so full of life, and seemed so healthy, be so incredibly sick? Since that time I’ve been on the roller coaster that is loving on Bayleigh! Once you meet her you are sucked in and you can’t help but cheer her on.
Bayleigh was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at just 9 years old. This diagnosis came when her baby sister was just 2 weeks old, and Bayleigh casually mentioned to her parents she’d been seeing 2 of everything. It would be impossible to detail out what Bayleigh has been through in that amount of time in a short spot like this, but there have been so many ups and downs. After completing her initial 2 years of chemo and several surgeries in between, she had a small break while the tumor was declared “stable”. In August of 2010, the tumor was found to have grown again. This was devastating not only to Bayleigh, but to all of us who know and love her. A couple of months later, they determined the chemo wasn’t working and the tumor continued to grow. They changed her treatment to 25 rounds of radiation. Her next two scans (that January and May) showed the tumor was continuing to grow. At this point, they switched back over to chemo. In August of 2011, they found that it was shrinking! Such good news. She finished her chemo in May of 2012, and enjoyed the summer being a regular teen. August of 2012, they found that the tumor had grown back to it’s original size. She is currently back on a very rough treatment regimen.
Please describe how this nominee is inspiring you and loved ones :
Bayleigh’s spirit is unlike anyone’s I’ve ever met, young or old. I joke with people that she’s the most “famous” person I know! No matter what she is going through, you can always count on her to have a smile on her face. Her caringbridge site has almost 2,000,000 views… that tells you a lot about how many people love and care about her and her precious family! Her family volunteers with numerous organizations throughout the year to give back, even though though they are still on treatment themselves. They just held their 6th “thanksgiving blessing”, where they feed Thanksgiving dinner to all the impatient families at the hospital where Bayleigh receives treatment. They also do a “Christmas blessing”. She often speaks to groups and organizations to garner support for the pediatric oncology community. Everyone loves to have Bayleigh as their guest speaker, because they know none of the kids can do it like she can!
I added a little video that their local newspaper did of her right after she found out that her tumor had started to grow again, and she’d just started treatment. This was when she’d just entered 8th grade, she’s in 10th grade now. How cute is she?!
What life lessons have you learned from this story? :
Bayleigh has taught me (more than anyone else) to live life to the fullest. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s the truth! No matter how sick she is, or what she’s going through medically, it doesn’t stop her from doing all things “teenager”. I love that about her! She has taught me to appreciate my health, and what a blessing it is to feel “good”. I remember my second year of camp, when she was unloading her suit case. She was squealing for me to come over to see what she’d brought.. it was a blowdryer! She was so excited that she needed one, since she didn’t have a use for it the year before. Sometimes when I find myself feeling complacent, or feeling sorry for myself, I think about the joy in that kids face over a blowdryer!
If you would like to give to our cause and make a donation to Fotolanthropy that will go towards the creation of the Teen Fotostory film, the product given to the winner and travel experience, please click on this link. Fotolanthropy Teen Fotostory Donation Because of your donation we can give more!!