Photography by Amie Hansen Photography
Meet Jude. He is Beauty Revived.
Jude Kelly is a 6 year old boy who lives in Sioux Falls, SD, and is the oldest of three children. Next fall, he will be going into first grade at St. Mary Elementary School.
Jude’s goodness was recognizable almost immediately. From the moment I first met him as an infant, I could see a kindness in his eyes that was foretelling of his future manner. That look of kindness has progressed and cultivated by his exceptional parents, into an unequivocally unique young boy. I feel no matter how I describe Jude, I will fall short; because he is positively an experience more than a description. None the less, I will try best to describe him and tell his story:
Jude’s love for all things, generosity and compassion can be seen by all who have the privilege of entering Jude’s circle. No matter the circumstance he will give you a hug and tell you he loves you. It’s as if he projects the perfect outcome of the day no matter the odds. He has an acuteness for human emotion, and empathy that is generally not developed at such an age. For instance, I’ve seen him tell his mom how beautiful she was when she otherwise having an unavailing day. It’s quite common to overhear him compliment a person, followed by asking them about their day. On his last birthday his mom asked him who he wanted to have invited to his birthday party. His response was that he didn’t want to have a party unless he could invite his whole class. Quite simply, he didn’t want to leave anyone out. Wow! What is astounding to me about this sort of interaction is not only his presence of mind to ask these sorts of questions; but more so his genuine interest in hearing the response. Again, this interaction must be experienced to appreciate its total gravity.
About eight months ago, Jude was playing soccer when he developed pain in his left leg. Soon thereafter his parents took him to the doctor, where they discovered a tumor on his left leg. He had surgery to remove the tumor on his leg which required a fairly lengthy recovery. Although the surgery initially appeared to be a success, the tumor returned more aggressively. The surgeon was quite baffled by this. A game plan was made, which resulted in a second attempt to remove the tumor. Although the tumor remained resilient, it was matched by Jude’s optimism and vigor. This was apparent when I would visit Jude. The usual concern and consideration he displayed for me remained as visible when he was unhealthy just the same as when he was healthy. It was inspirational to see him navigate this adversity. Especially when the tumor returned for a third time…
Although preliminary analysis indicated that Jude’s tumor was benign, the aggressive nature made experts pause. So many questions surfaced. This time, it appeared the most qualified opinions would come from pediatrician surgeons at the Mayo Clinic. After thorough testing, it was decided the most definitive solution to combating the tumor would be to remove part of Jude’s fibia, where the tumor resided. The third surgery was scheduled.
When it came down to Jude going to Mayo for his surgery he never complained. While others may have internalized feelings of despondence, he never displayed anything beyond positivity. When I asked his dad “how is Jude feeling about the surgery” his response was “he’s a realist. He knows he has to have it, but knows it is going to hurt.” Jude had to have a surgery that required four different surgeons and a specialist to analyze the tumor. Before Jude went under my brother had said “Jude didn’t complain once.” Jude is as tough as they come. He is a true testament of bravery. Shortly after surgery I was able to connect with Jude on our cellphones, and as he laid in his hospital bed recovering he asked “how’s Fifi?”; who is my daughter. As impressed as I was, I was not surprised. It is his nature.
As I write this I turned around and asked my husband “if you could describe Jude in one sentence what would it be?” He paused, and within moments said; ” Jude is an embodiment of everything desirable in humanity.” I thought to myself, spot on! Jude is one of those people you just want to be around. He always makes you feel like a better person after leaving him. I truly love Jude so incredibly much and I would love nothing more than for him to receive the nod that this nomination can bring.
About the Photographer
Hey there, I’m Amie. Most days you can find me pouring my heart into learning the art form of hot yoga or working at home while enjoying my favorite sweet treat.. dark chocolate m&ms or dark chocolate almonds. I am a wife and mommy to two sweet boys.
I am a storyteller, an encourager and a woman who always wears her heart on her sleeve. I am often referred as a sweet girl, loving, inspiring, real and emotional. I love serving the world by serving and giving back to others. We only live one life and each day we should make it count. The things I am most passionate about in life is my faith, family life, raising my two boys and documenting the everyday life.
I love the everyday. I just love capturing a family, in their home or favorite nearby places, simply being real, and embracing the “in the moments” they have with each other. My photography style is candid, emotional, genuine, and timeless.