Meet Avery-Suzanne Krull Photography
Avery was 3 ½ when she was diagnosed with Leukemia. We were visiting family in Vermont when we noticed the lymph nodes in her neck were enlarged. We went to the ER to have it checked out, and the doctors first believed it to be the measles or mumps, but with a blood test they saw blasts in her white blood cells that indicated she may have Leukemia. Avery and I flew home immediately while my husband and son drove 18 hours straight to the hospital. With more tests, bone marrow aspiration, spinal tap and more blood work it was confirmed that Avery had ALL, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Avery’s life changed significantly. She didn’t have the energy to play outside, play with friends, or do much of anything. Steroids caused Avery to gain a lot of weight that especially showed in her face. It was difficult for her to understand that she needed to take medicine in order to get better. She called her medicine “garbage” chemo medicine and she took it, every time. Even when we went to the clinic and the nurses had to access her port, she never cried or put up a fight. There were the days that Avery was exhausted, fed up, and didn’t want to sit at the clinic an extra 4 hours because her port was clogged or to get a blood transfusion, but she did, and we got some good snuggle time in on those days.
The hospital we went to had a program at the time called Beads of Courage. Every time Avery went to the clinic, had a procedure done, chemotherapy, got a poke or had a bad day she got a bead. Every day was rough, but on the especially rough days Avery would get a bumpy bead. These beads were for those days of the unexpected, the ‘I am not going to let you access my port,’ or for an extremely rough chemo treatment day. The nurses were amazing and especially the Child Life Specialist who would calm Avery down when we, as parents, were falling apart. Looking back at those beads, they really tell her story of all the things she went through while in treatment. Avery was the one who carried us through her whole treatment. After the initial diagnosis, Avery was so positive and willing to do whatever she had to for her treatment. She couldn’t cry when her port was accessed, she would talk to me through her spinals and bone marrows and tell me she loved me, and she would barely complain about how bad she felt while going through all the horrible chemo she had to take. She would sit quietly in the room and tell us she was ok even though we knew she felt horrible. Avery crafted to keep busy because she wasn’t able to do much physical activity. Everyone around Avery saw how hard it was on her, her body and what a struggle it was to just get up every day and do it all over again. But through it all, her entire cancer journey and even now, she was our bright and shining ray.
Avery is an inspiration to many. She is the one who is always there to lend a helping hand, she’s a great leader and role model, she loves meeting and talking with people, and uses her gift of crafting to make cards or fun duct tape creations to put smiles on peoples faces. Avery has done many things to help others. She has talked with other children at the clinic that are going through the treatment she went through. She collected over 350 movies to donate to the clinic and hospital for children to watch when they have to be at the clinic or hospital for a long period. Instead of getting gifts for her birthday, she collected presents for the clinic to give out to patients when they come for a visit or have to have a procedure done. For over 5 years she has been attending a St. Baldrick’s event in Naperville and talking to hundreds of people telling them her story to support the fundraiser. Avery has donated her hair to make wigs for children with cancer. This past year she was asked to be one of the stories told during a childhood cancer fundraiser at her school. Her story educated and inspired many. Avery is involved in church and school activities to volunteer her time to help others. She has one of the most giving hearts I have ever seen and is grown up and mature beyond her years. I believe God has a special plan for Avery to touch people and make a positive difference in their lives.
Short Bio of Photographer
Suzanne Krull is a newborn and family photographer from Sycamore, Illinois. She photographs families all around Northern Illinois. She strives to create a carefree memorable experience for her clients with beautiful imagery and genuine connection.