In April this year, three girls went to a photo studio to be photographed together. Rheann Franklin, Ainsley Peters and Rylie Hughey did not know each other then but they all shared something in common, they had all been diagnosed of cancer.
Photographer Lora Scantling, who initiated the shoot, said that her stepfather was at the time fighting with cancer and she wanted to do something that could have an impact so she made a post on Facebook asking if anyone knows of children battling with cancer. The parents of the three girls responded and gathered together for what would become a very memorable photoshoot of three young cancer patients.
“They walked in and the second they saw each other they were like, ‘Hey, you don’t have any hair either. You’re going through what I’m going through,'” Scantling shared. “Everyone was quiet at first, but after a few minutes they were sharing stories from the hospital.”
On April 5, the girls were photographed at the studio that Scantling and Christy Goodger owns. The resulting photo showed the girls wearing pretty dresses, flower headbands and pearl necklaces. The picture also includes a caption that read “Sometimes strength comes in knowing that you are not alone” and this apparently touched cord for many, leading to the photo becoming viral.
The girls and their families as well as the photographers did not know each other when they first met but they eventually became very close after the pictorial. The special bond is likely fostered by the similar experiences and emotions they share due to their common encounter with cancer. The girls, however, now have another thing in common; they are all survivors of cancer.
Last month, all the girls were confirmed to be cancer-free. To celebrate their remission, they again gathered for another photoshoot four months after their first picture together was taken. The new photo, which was taken at a Yukon Park in Oklahoma on Saturday, shows the girls wearing similar dresses and headbands. Unlike in the first photo though, the girls wore vibrant colors that seemingly reflect a much better and happier time. The photo also shows the two girls now have longer hair.
“The shoot definitely felt different,” Ainsley’s mother Andrea Peters said. “It was full of more hope and we know how much the girls have impacted the world. They’ve brought more knowledge to everyone that even the littlest fighters are full of strength.”