In March 2014, photographers Lora Scantling and Christy Goodger took a very special photo of three little girls from Oklahoma. Rheann Franklin, now 9, Ainsley Peters, now 7, and Rylie Hughey, now 6, were all hugging one another tightly with their eyes closed, showing support in their mutual fight against cancer. The photo quickly went viral and made headlines all over the country.
“The original photo was inspired because my step dad was losing his battle to lung cancer and I wanted to do something that would make a difference / speak a thousand words and decided to do childhood cancer because I also have a friend who had lost her baby boy to cancer,” Scantling told GoodHousekeeping.com.
A year later, Scantling recreated the photo to celebrate the fact that all three girls were in remission. This time, their eyes were open, to symbolize that they were looking ahead to a bright future.
They did another shot for the Today show back in 2016, in which they victoriously held up the original portrait all together.
With the third anniversary coming up, Scantling decided to recreate the photo again, to give people an update on how the three girls are doing.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 4, 2016
“All three girls are still cancer free, though Rheann has lifelong side affects from the chemo and radiation (cannot grow hair, restricted growth, low muscle tone, kidney failure, etc). Despite all that she is an extremely happy little girl,” Scantling said.
In this photo, the girls are holding up a large gold ribbon — the symbol for child cancer — in order to spread awareness and raise money for this terrible disease.
“We love being able to do them each year because it gets people talking about childhood cancer awareness and is getting it more attention which is desperately needed as childhood cancer only gets about 4% funding and that needs to be way higher,” she said. It’s an annual tradition that Scantling plans to continue throughout their lives, so that they never forget the battle that they won together.
source: WOMAN’S DAY