Kendell & Jared
Kendell and Jared
Stories like this are why I do photography.
I met Kendell several years ago at a bible study that we both attended. She was always a bright light in the room, full of laughter and fun. I easily became friends with her and admired her wisdom, quiet strength, and optimism. Around that time, Kendell fell in love with her best friend, Jared. They've known each other since they were just 5 years old, and I remember how giddy and happy she was when it all fell into place between them. They've been together now for the last eight years and got married in October of 2016. I actually hadn't seen her in for many years since we live in different states, but thankfully we have still kept in touch.
Unfortunately, in June 2016, Kendell found out that she had a brain tumor. It was shocking news for me to hear, especially about a friend who's so young and healthy. After all, she's a champion hockey player, skilled horseback rider, athletic trainer, and palates instructor. After hearing the news and going through a series of tests and surgeries, many aspects of her life have been put on hold. In December of 2017, the tumor began to grow and thankfully they found a neurosurgeon who was able to send her to UCLA for its removal. Jared has been a steady presence and rock for her through the whole thing.
A couple of weeks ago, Kendell reached out to me to photograph her, Jared and their sweet dog, Valentina while they were out in California. I was really impacted by the meaningfulness of the photoshoot and was truly honored they chose me to tell this part of their story. They hadn't had any professional photos taken of them since their wedding day and they wanted to capture this season of their life. It brings me to tears to think about the strength, love, positivity, and encouragement they have for each other through such a difficult time. Just two days before an intense surgery, and they are being their sweet, playful, goofy selves. That isn't to say that it has been an easy road for them, I know it has been very emotionally and physically draining to go through this and they will probably have many more months or years to fight through. But Kendell is a warrior and she and Jared remain optimistic and grateful. Their love for each other is truly inspiring.
As an update from Kendell's latest surgery.. doctors were able to remove most of the tumor and she will be doing chemo for the next year so keep her in your thoughts and prayers. If you would like to help them financially, please donate here.
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