GREEN BAY - It's said a picture is worth a thousand words.
Tara Day of Hobart is proving that to be true with her organization, Capture Courage Photography. She offers free photo shoots to families who have children with cancer.
"Every photograph I've ever taken with a child with cancer has been magical," said Day. "There's something in their eyes and their spirit that I could never put into words, but that you see in that photograph."
Day was inspired to start Capture Courage Photography five years ago, when she heard of a De Pere family that was losing their 8-year-old daughter to Neuroblastoma.
She offered to take their photos for free to help keep the young girl's memory alive.
"I went home and I started editing those photos and I just cried," said Day. "I just knew at that moment that's what I was supposed to do."
Day contacted St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay to let them know about her mission. So far, she's photographed 30 children who've received treatment there.
That includes 7-year-old Alexis Lemke of Suamico. Day photographed Alexis at 3 years old, while Alexis was battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Alexis' mom, Heidi Lemke recalls how much fun the photo shoot was for her and Alexis.
"We brought all kinds of fun clothes and then we brought the helium balloons," said Lemke. "It was such a fun day for Alexis."
Day says she likes to talk with each child about their favorite things to get an idea of what they would like in their photo shoot. She's photographed children with horses, convertibles and Green Bay Packers players.
Recently, she gathered a group of children for a "survivor shoot." About a dozen children -- who Day has photographed before and who have all survived cancer -- gathered at the Aloft Hotel in Green Bay.
She took group pictures of the children, but also individual ones. She gave them mini chalkboards and had them write a word of inspiration or encouragement. Some children, like 6-year-old Belle wrote "Hope."
Jessica Dejardin, 17, and a survivor of Leukemia wrote "Inspiration and Courage."
"I'm told it takes a lot of courage to get through Leukemia and cancer and everything," said Dejardin.
All of the children and their families at the "survivor shoot" will receive free copies of the photos.
"For parents, it's a way for them to remember this huge moment in their life -- whether they've just been diagnosed or they're in remission," said Day.
Day pays for some of the expenses of Capture Courage Photography out of her own pocket. She also offers families to set up mini photo sessions at a low cost and then uses the profit from those shoots to fund her organization.
To set up a photo shoot with Day or learn more about how you can help Capture Courage Photography, contact her at (920) 360-0558. Or, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also "Like" the Capture Courage Photography page on Facebook .
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