Photographers capture moments, preserve emotions and convey feelings through the images caught by the shutter of their lens.
For families dealing with childhood cancer, the moments captured by photographers like Whitefish Bay’s Ellen Cook through the organization Flashes of Hope at in-hospital photo shoots provide forever precious memories.
Flashes of Hope was founded in 2001 by the parents of a child with cancer. The completely volunteer organization now has chapters in 55 cities and photographs more than half of the children diagnosed with cancer in the United States each year. Families are given reprints, enlargements and a disk at no charge.
Cook reflects, "For too many families, these might be the last images of their children." In fact, 25 percent of the children photographed do not survive.
Flashes of Hope deals solely with childhood cancer and since 2009 have been fund raising for childhood cancer research through the Kick-It Program. Childhood cancer research is a highly neglected area, which according to Flashes of Hope’s website, "receives only 4 percent of U.S federal funding for research R&D in (the) pharmaceutical industry (while) adult cancer research 60 percent ... children's cancer research (is) close to 0 percent." Additionally, most childhood cancers have no known cause and do not discriminate based on economic status, ethnic group or geographic area making all families vulnerable.
Cook, an in-demand professional photographer in Milwaukee and beyond known for her distinct ability to artistically document family events like weddings, pregnancy and infant to senior portraits has spent the last five years as one of many area photographers that donates time and talent to Flashes of Hope.
She sees her service as a way to use her creative passion and express her gratitude for her two healthy children while giving families with children diagnosed with cancer the gift of beautiful portraits and memories. She has done shoots at Children’s Hospita…Read more...