Three little girls who survived cancer together recreated a photo from when they first started chemo, and we’re gonna need a tissue
As the old adage goes, “A picture’s worth 1,000 words.” But in this case, a picture will cause you to shed 1,000 tears! And yes, they’re happy tears, so get ready to be moved.
In 2014, Oklahoma-based photographer Lora Scantling wrote a Facebook post offering a special photo shoot for young girls who had been diagnosed with cancer. She chose three girls who’d just started chemotherapy, Rheann, Ainsley, and Riley, and produced a heart-wrenching and unforgettable image of the girls hugging each other.
Needless to say, the poignant photo went viral, and now the Oklahoma girls have reunited to celebrate life cancer-free, two years later.
In an Instagram post about the reunion photo, Scantling wrote, “Look at these 3 getting so big! … I love that these 3 are still inspiring others and helping raise childhood cancer awareness! All 3 are still doing great and in remission/cancer free.”
If you’re anything like us, you’re feeling Kate Winslet’s mixture of emotions at the Oscars right now.
We’re not sure whether it’s relief, an over-abundance of love, sadness, or happiness that’s causing this emotional swell. Maybe all of the above. But regardless, it is so lovely to see the image of Rheann, now 9, Ainsley, 7, and Riley, 6, in good health and good spirits.
Scantling explained her motivation behind the original photo in an Instagram caption, writing, “I was inspired by [photographer] Anne Geddes…and chose cancer because at the time my step dad was fighting cancer. I wanted to take a picture that would speak a thousand words at a glance.”
We’d say her pictures have definitely achieved that goal. And, according to an interview published by People this week, Scantling has offered to continue taking pictures of the three girls together every year for the rest of their lives.
"They’re inspiring to so many that I’m happy to keep taking photos for the rest of their lives," she explained. "Besides an annual photo shoot, I’d love to take pictures of their high school graduations, their weddings, all of their biggest milestones. To have them all alive and doing well is wonderful. It’s like they’re family now.
She added, “The girls have become good friends ever since their unfortunate circumstances brought them together, and an annual photo shoot of the small warriors sounds like a great way to celebrate their lives! We are definitely here for it.”
We can’t wait to watch Rheann, Ainsley, and Rylie grow into amazing women who continue to support each other through difficult times. Okay, we’re crying again.