Cancer. The Thief.

Everyone has been touched by it at some point in their life. A family member, a loved one, someone you know or someone that a person close to you knows. It takes so much and does it mercilessly with no concern for whether one is young or old or good or bad.

It just takes.

Over the past few years, Liza Hughes has lost two very close friends to Cancer. Friends she was there for and watched the slow deterioration, the indignity of chemotherapy, the tears, the defiance, and then ultimately the loss of two women she loved.

She was there for all of it. That’s the kind of friend Liza is.

A short time ago she let me know that her father was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer. Then a couple of weeks after that, I got another message. It was her mom this time and she had cancer in her gall bladder and liver.

Her father passed away a few days ago. Her mom is fighting for her life.

And Liza is there, as always, loving, supporting, caring for and propping up the world as they come to grips with Liza’s tragedy.

I’ve shot thousands of images of Liza over the past two decades. I always said she is my hardest working model because she puts her heart and soul into every set we ever shot. We photographed this image some years back. The set was about Diamonds, a visual metaphor about remarkable women that have been hardened by time and immense pressure, yet fragile and eternally beautiful like the precious stones.

This image made me think of her and what she is going through right now. It made me think of her dad, and her mom, her husband, children, and her family and I am eternally grateful for the time I was blessed with to share with them.

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