Meet Anna with Brooke Ashley Photography
Photography by Brooke Helfferich
Written by:Sarah Caito, Mother of Anna
Beautiful – Anyone can look at Anna and see she is beautiful. Her grandfather has sung ” You are so beautiful to me” to her since she was a little baby. While the meaning of that song has grown with her throughout the years, the real beauty she possesses comes from the amazing person she is.
Anna has always been a ray of sunshine in our lives. She has been the light of our family through our darkest days. As we laid our precious son to rest, Anna was the toddler making her way through a crowd of tears bringing a smile to those grieving. She has found the good in everything around her and makes sure every single day has good in it.
Anna has been positive and encouraging as she navigated her way through the loss of her brother and sister to Anencephaly. She shows her love and dedication for her two foster brothers as well as her adopted brother and sister, Wyatt and Sam. She has lived through more than most adults and has been a beautiful example of resilience in each moment.
When Anna was 9, in 2015, she had a life threatening abscess near her brain caused by orbital cellulitis. She had urgent surgery and a 5 day stay in the hospital. She was blessed to come out completely healed and forever grateful. While it may have been the scariest experience of her life it was certainly life changing. Soon after her hospital stay our family was met with an outpouring of support. We were beyond blessed to have our girl home and there was nothing more we could ask for. Anna however, came up with a plan.
While she was a patient at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital she noticed the games in the Child Life department were missing pieces. She made it her mission to replace those games. In a few short months she was able to collect over 200 games and $350 in Itunes gift cards. She made a donation to child life later that spring. Through that experience she has been able to become a Champion for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the Speedway Miracle Child for 2017. She has visited many stores and events on behalf of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network. She is a member of the patient advisory council for Cincinnati Children’s and is a proud advocate for the hospital that saved her sight and her life.
Anna also turned her 4th grade market day project into a fundraiser for the hospital that saved her life. She has created “Anna’s Pig Farm for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.” She has made hundreds of clay pigs and sold them with 100% of sales going to Cincinnati Children’s Child Life Department. Last summer she was awarded a grant from Disney Be Inspired and Youth Service America for $500 towards supplies. This allowed her to engage more than 30 children in our community in pig making. She has also been able to visit Cincinnati Children’s twice to meet patients and make them official pig farmers. A year and a half into her service project Anna has been able to raise over $4,000 for Child Life. Not only has this experience given her the chance to raise funds for the hospital, it has led her on a path towards her future goal of becoming a child life specialist.
Every parent should see beauty in their child. Every child should feel beautiful. Anna is the epitome of beauty, both inside and out. She is joyful, resilient and sees the good all around us. Whether it’s the love she shows through each goal she achieves, to her smile that simply warms our hearts, Anna continues to redefine what it means to be beautiful.
Short Bio of Photographer
Everyone has their own colorful story. You know, the ones that include that big beautiful family of yours, or that special someone you just can’t wait to say “I love you” to at the end of a long day? Yep! They’re the stories you love to look back on and remember fondly. They’re the moments that capture our attention with the people we care most about in this world.
My name is Brooke Helfferich and I am natural light photographer based out of Dayton,Ohio. I am a wife, mother, foodie, movie guru, and Disney fanatic who loves her family and friends deeply.I turned a hobby for documenting moments into my life passion. My photography isn’t just about capturing smiles. It’s about capturing emotions; the true soul of the people I photograph. It’s about capturing those memories you want to last more than just a lifetime.
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