Smashing Walnuts

Last weekend I had the honor of teaming up with three other talented photographers (Fluttering Shutter Photography,New London Red),  to capture moments at a walk-a-thon benefiting the Smashing Walnuts Foundation.

Smashing Walnuts was started by 10 year old Gabriella Miller and her family after she was diagnosed (at 9 years old) with a brain tumor the size of a walnut.  The name came from the fact that Gabriella, her parents and her younger brother would smash walnuts with a frying pan to symbolize “smashing” her tumor.

In the short time between her diagnosis and her passing she co-wrote a children’s book about cancer, earned an honorary college degree and received the President’s Medal for Outstanding Service in Cancer Awareness from Shenandoah University.  She raised almost $300,000 for children’s cancer charities and became a global advocate for children with cancer.

But more than that Gabriella was a fighter, a Warrior!  Even through her chemo treatments she never gave up hope or her smiling face!

Did you know…

  • 15,780 children will be diagnosed with cancer in the US this year alone
  • childhood cancer is the number 1 (1!) cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the US
  • only 4% of money for cancer research is specifically directed toward childhood cancer
  • 72% of children diagnosed with a brain tumor are under the age of 15?
  • 7 children die every. single. day due to cancer?

I’m sure you don’t have to think very hard to remember a child in your circles that has either lost their battle to cancer, is currently fighting cancer, or has triumphed over cancer!  With efforts like those of the Smashing Walnuts Foundation and other children’s cancer charities  hopefully a cure can be found soon!  Until then I can only hope these families are surrounded by the same amount of love and hope and community that Gabriella’s family is!


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