This is our daughter, Ella Ruth. On August 19, 2000, when she was 9 months old, she was found to have a brain tumor, a hypothalamic/ chiasmatic glioma. She’s being treated with monthly doses of a chemotherapy drug called carboplatin. Back in August, I might have thought these things impossible. To me, hope is Ella laughing, chasing after big brother, hurling down a slidey-slide, demanding more milkshake, actually enjoying our weekly visits to Duke, throwing toddler tantrums (don’t be fooled by photo—this girl has OPINIONS...), outgrowing clothes, saying, "Mama." Hope is moving toward a balance—living to enjoy every day, day by day, and gratefully, all the while daring still to imagine a miracle.
Photograph by Ellen L. Ozier