Cancer patients capture irreplaceable moments with photo shoot

Each picture holds the words a loved one may not get a chance to say.
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 2:11 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2021 at 2:16 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One woman is living by the mantra ‘live your life to the fullest and like it’s your last day;’ because it is her story and journey.

A picture holds the words that Brandi Ryan may not get a chance to say.

“That’s one thing we wanted to make sure we had,” Ryan said. “Just pictures so we could look back on.”

Ryan looks back on moments with her mother, Cathy Kennedy, who was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in 2005. Doctors thought they got it all after a lumpectomy and radiation.

Joined by her granddaughter and her daughter, Cathy Kennedy had a photo taken of three...
Joined by her granddaughter and her daughter, Cathy Kennedy had a photo taken of three generations of her family during the professional photoshoot at the UofL Brown Cancer Center.(Source: Phylicia Ashley, WAVE 3 News)

“By time I got my diagnosis it was July 11th, 2018,” Kennedy said. “That’s a day I’ll never forget. I wasn’t expecting to get the diagnosis. It was stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. So that was very hard.”

“It was a big shock to us,” Ryan said. “Something that nobody ever wants to hear.”

A second oncologist told Kennedy to go home and get her affairs in order. She quit her job, sold her house, and moved in with her daughter. Kennedy now has tumors from her neck to her pelvis.

“They gave me two to five years to live,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy is on year three. She is capturing every moment of life with a professional photoshoot with the UofL Brown Cancer Center. Each flash is a reminder that cancer doesn’t stop who she is. Every smile of the 40 models, locks in their inner spirit, strength, and resilience.

The University of Louisville, Brown Cancer Center said 600,000 people in the U.S. die from cancer every year and 8 million globally. During the photo shoot it wasn’t about the statistics.

Kennedy’s granddaughter, Maddy Myers, and Kennedy’s daughter got a snapshot of what they have, three generations.

“We didn’t know if she was going to be okay.” Myers said. “So, it’s great to see her happy.”

“These photos will live on forever,” Kennedy said. “And I hope they will cherish them long after I am gone.”

An irreplaceable moment, focusing on their pose and not their diagnoses.

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Get the WAVE 3 News app on ROKU, Apple TV and Fire TV.(Source: WAVE 3 News)

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