Norah's Back to School Session
I met Norah through my best friend (and then college roommate) Jazzy. I knew Norah and her brother Ro lived up north and were basically like a niece and nephew to Jaz. From day one I could tell these kids were their world.
I remember when Jaz told me that Ro had gone to the hospital for headaches and that they had found a tumor. I was teaching at Pomona at the time, and my yearbook kids drew and wrote letters to Ro that he never got to see. I still have photos of Ro and Norah in the hospital, of the letters that my students sent saved on my iPad.
Still, whenever I see a butterfly, I think of him because Jaz told me how much he loved them. That, and legos, and pirates. I think of him every time I tell my students about him when we learn about cells and cancer and how important it is to be aware of organizations who strive for a cure.
I remember sobbing in the bathroom of my sister's baby (Charlotte) shower when I got the news that Ro had passed. It was my first real experience with death, and I hadn't even met him, but I felt such sorrow that day and as I continue to know Cammy (Ro and Norah's mom) and her family, I understand more and more that Ro was just that type of boy. One who was adventurous, compassionate, brave, and sweet. How could anyone not be moved by such a spirit in one little boy.
Norah is such a spit-fire, and is incredibly bright and loves to serve others. I was so honored to capture moments for her before she heads back to school this fall. I don't know many kids who win humanitarian awards at their school and who puts on garage sales and lemonade stands in support for www.teamrohan.com to further support a cure for pediatric cancer.
As I spend time with people like Norah and her family and awe at their strength, love, and determination.
I chose Higginbotham Park because it was shady and close to Jazzy. I had no idea that they used to bring Ro to this park when he was little. We even had time (despite thunderstorm warnings coming our way!) to recreate a pose with Jazzy and Norah that Jazzy did with Ro when he was little. Talk about a "God thing".
Norah's family has done so much for pediatric cancer awareness in remembrance of Ro that I thought Cammy should tell more of their story and how you can be a part of remembering Ro. Scroll below to read more.
My sweet boy and all time hero, Rohan, lived with supernatural joy through adversity. He had scar upon scar, procedure upon procedure, pain upon pain, and he faced it all…with a smile and a generous “thank you” to his team. Since the day he was born, he began teaching me the truths about living, loving and hoping. It is not because he was perfect; not at all. There were hard times of learning for him as he stretched boundaries and tested the waters like any other active and brilliant kid. But there is no doubt that he was a perfect gift given to us from the most loving Being of all.
So if out sweet boy could rise up out of his circumstances to still praise God and pray, “Lord, I thank you that you are with us all the time” till his very last days, then why not us too?
In only 7 short years, Rohan understood what has taken me so many years to stubbornly begin to learn. We don’t get to control what happens to us and we won’t always like our circumstances. But we can choose to lie down and give up or we can pick ourselves up and try to joyfully make the most of what we have been given. Whatever setbacks you are facing right now, I hope we can all be like Rohan and choose the latter. A friend and oncology researcher told me this: “We have all been assigned a number by the Higher Being; for some it is 45, for some 99 and for some, like your sweet boy, the number is 7.” It was then that I learned to face and accept this reality knowing God’s plans are mighty and His ways are not our ways.
Proverbs 16:--Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.
The desire to honor Rohan’s legacy and to perpetuate the sense of community that lifted my family during our darkest time moved us to action; with the help and support of friends, family and Seattle Children’s hospital, Team Rohan Guild came into being the summer of 2016.