Photography by Fotocrew Member, Amanda Holcomb
“The story of Kerri Gale is one that has touched me far more than I ever anticipated. Kerri’s story came to us through Monique VanHummel. Kerri is a young, beautiful wife and mother of 3 seriously adorable children. On the day of her portrait session I loved seeing her happy family come walking up to the park where we did their pictures. The boys hugged and loved on their Mom so much and her husband was always watching out for his wife to make sure she wasn’t too tired or taking on too much. This is one incredibly close and loving family.
Around 2 years ago, 2 days before her baby’s first birthday, Kerri lost consciousness and had a seizure. She went to the hospital and immediately found out that she had a large mass the size of a softball in her brain. She never had any symptoms that she might have cancer, however that day she was diagnosed with a brain tumor (stage 3 cancer). She was told she only had 3 years to live. With so much to live for she decided to get a second opinion and found the right doctor who didn’t put an expiration date on her life. Around four to six weeks after her diagnosis she had surgery where they cut out 90% of the tumor. The rest would require six weeks of radiation and a long year of chemotherapy. Following treatment, she had to have rehabilitation therapy to relearn simple tasks such as writing. She started writing again in a personal journal as part of her therapy. Today she is cancer free, but she knows that she is never fully out of the woods with brain cancer. She will continue to go for scans every 2 months for 2 years and will always do scans for the rest of her life.
Kerri has said that her faith, trust, and love of God has gotten her through this rough trial in her life. Her husband and college sweetheart, Charlie is her rock. Through their portraits I hope you see the love and adoration Charlie has for Kerri. It is overwhelmingly evident when you are in their presence and is such a joy to watch. They have seen God’s hand through this challenging time.
They have such a beautiful family. They have twin boys Gray and Bauer who at the time of the diagnosis were 3 (now 5) and their sweet baby boy Charlie Jr. (now 3) Her children are her motivation, and we talked for a long while about her love for them and how much she enjoys being a mom. She expressed her strong desire to be there to watch her babies grow. She would read to her kids an amazing book called “The Goodbye Cancer Garden”. It is a story that concludes with the idea that when the pumpkins grow then Mommy will be done with cancer. It was very meaningful since the pumpkins would be out in October, which is when she was to complete her treatment. The kids looked forward to fall and seeing the pumpkins come back so they would know their Mommy was ok again. I adored this story and that she read it so many times to her little angels. It was their source of hope for the future and a way for them to understand a little of what their brave mom was going through and that there was an end in sight.
Kerri shared so much with me, I wish I could write everything down for you to understand what a brave and strong woman she is. She spoke so highly of her church and friends who helped her so much along the way. She couldn’t drive for a year so her friends drove her everywhere, helped with the kids and so much more. She has a light within her and you cannot help but love being around her. Kerri has constantly turned to God throughout all of this and is so grateful for all she has in this life. She now hopes to help others as they go through similar struggles. She has such a big heart and is a beautiful person inside and out. I am so grateful I could meet her and get to know her lovely family.” – Written by Fotocrew Member Amanda Holcomb