I went to school with Mitchell’s mom, Donna so I was rather excited to see her and spend some time with her family during their long awaited family shoot. The last time I saw her was probably back in 1998. Thankfully, through Face Book, we had kept in contact and I knew a little bit about how life had treated her since 1998. I knew she had had two children, and that her oldest son Mitchell had since developed epilepsy but I did not know the extent of how he suffered. Mitchell is a few months younger than my own daughter so I thought I’d be chatting to a cheerful 3 and a half year old little boy during our shoot. The week before the shoot Donna emailed me to tell me about Mitchell’s condition and she informed me that he could not speak and was disabled. Mitchell has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a severe form of childhood epileptic encephalopathy.
Colourful helium filled balloons are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face so on my way to the shoot I bought a big bunch. When Mitchell saw the balloons he laughed, smiled and rubbed his face on the balloons in sheer delight. It was beautiful watching him interact in his own way with the colourful balloons. It was wonderful following him around and chatting to his mom and dad and enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings. It was however heart breaking to hear their story and how they deal with various challenges on a day to day basis, emotional and financial and many others. Mitchell has been born to the best parents. Donna and Murray are truly amazing! Both working full time jobs but both on a mission to enrich Mitchell’s life. They have started the Mitchell Centre, offering a stimulating environment for epileptic and severely disabled children and support for their families.
If you are in any way able to help their cause, either by giving of your time, talents or you’d like to make a monetary donation you can contact the centre through their website, here.
Donna I hope you are enjoying your photos. Mitchell and Joel are such happy boys and loved so much by you and Murray…