There are moments in our lives when we meet someone or do something that changes our life…forever. The day I met the Pitschka family was one of those moments for me. It was a moment, a series of moments, that I’ll never forget. And little Quinn…she touched my heart in a way I’ll never be able to fully explain.
I didn’t know the Pitschka’s before I came to their home. A family member introduced us via email. At the time, I knew very little of their family story. On portrait day, I arrived at their home and Kyle, Quinn and Davis’ daddy, took me to Davis. He was so precious and sleepy. Wrapped in a blanket he was ready to pose for the camera.
Ann, Quinn and Davis’ mommy, had told me that Quinn would be napping when I got there, so I knew she would wake soon. I was excited to meet her. I knew she was 2 years old (there is something about kiddos around her age that I just adore) and I couldn’t wait to take her photos. She woke shortly after I finished with Davis. Her mommy had told me early on that she may not want me around long (I wouldn’t have blamed her either) and at first she wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of me taking her pictures. But after a few pieces of candy and our playful interactions with an imaginary red bird, Quinn had warmed up and was all smiles!
She was such a sweet BIG sister and did so good with Baby Davis!
At one point, Quinn told her daddy that her ear was cold. So he blew into her ear and warmed it right up! Got a few giggles too!
What else made my moments with this family so special was witnessing their strength. You see, in the fall of 2012 Quinn fell ill. After several doctor appointments and x-rays with no diagnosis, Quinn’s was taken to the Omaha Children’s Hospital where a tumor was discovered near one of Quinn’s kidneys.
Later she was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma. Quinn was 2 at the time of diagnosis. The cancer was advanced and had spread. Quinn has gone through five rounds of chemo and has responded very well, showing no signs of cancer. Her doctors consider her a miracle since they have only seen one other patient respond so well and appear to be on their way to no evidence of disease.
After taking Quinn’s pictures she went in-patient to prepare for a stem cell transplant. The transplant went well but Quinn remains inpatient to prevent her from getting any infections. Today, there is no cure for Neuroblastoma but we pray for Quinn and her family knowing that one day, Quinn will be healthy and vibrant.
I hope that sharing Quinn’s story will help raise awareness around Neuroblastoma and Children’s Cancer and that you keep little Quinn and her family in your thoughts and prayers. If you’d like to know more or would like to support Quinn and her fight against Childhood Cancer, visit the QuinStrong Team Page where they are participating in the CureSearch for Children’s Cancer in honor of Quinn. ♥
Some statistics on Neuroblastoma and Children’s Cancer:
- About 1 in 6000 children will be diagnosed with neuroblastoma by the age of five
- About 25% of newly diagnosed Neuroblastoma are found in children under the age of one
- The average age at diagnosis is two
- Children under the age of one have a cure rate as high as 90%
- 36 children are diagnosed with cancer every day
- 7 children will die each day from cancer
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer has a goal to find a cure for all pediatric cancers by funding research and clinical trials. Omaha Children’s Hospital participates in research and clinical trials funded by CureSearch grants. These grants are only available through donations from everyday people like you and me.
love and pixels,