PHOTO STORY  |  05.14.14

On April Fool's Day, I met Kelli for the first time.  Well, I actually saw an image of her on facebook of her getting her hair cut (more like shaved).  What struck me from the image was her smile.  You see her teeth were showing and her lips were curled upwards, but I knew that she wasn't truly smiling.  I mean how could she?  A woman's hair is extremely important to them!  I immediately messaged her to see if we could do something about that smile.  I'm glad that I did because I feel that I've grown personally from her story.  You see, last Fall Kelli was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Here's her photo story:

I saw her picture through a mutual friend on Facebook.  So I was very interested to see how she would respond to doing a photo session with a stranger.  After a few message back on forth on Facebook, Kelli and I met in the beautiful downtown Monroe, GA.  I asked Kelli to bring items that had been helpful to her during this difficult time (shown below).  Being transparent, I hadn't really spent a lot of time talking one on one with someone specifically about cancer.  I told Kelli this and she tried not to laugh, which made me feel a little better about asking questions.

I found out that when Kelli was 12 years old, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer as well.  When Kelli found out that she personally was diagnosed with breast cancer at an early age of 34, she was stunned.  To top it off her cancer was very aggressive and treatment needed to be immediate.  I can only imagine how it would feel to have my life derailed by such news.  But Kelli is strong.

Before cancer, Kelli described herself as trusting, cheerful, and caring.  After cancer, she describes herself as grateful, strong, and giving.  It didn't take long for me to realize that she undoubtedly loves her family.  This ended our Q&A and it was now my time to be the smile doctor.  The next half hour was filled with my crazy antics, laughable moments, times of paused reflection, and of course lots of smiles.  I'm not going to tell you what I learned about how cancer impacts a person's life; I'm going to show you with photographs.

Oh yeah, today Kelli celebrated her last treatment!  In her words, "I am blessed beyond measure for the family and friends who have stood by my side, prayed for me, and cared for me. I am also blessed to serve a God who is good and laid His healing hands upon me."


Her items of strength - made by people she loves

Look at her smile!

You want me to do what?!  LOL

What do you think of Kelli's smile?  Share it in the comments!

  • Caleb Peavy

    on May 14, 2014

    Thank you. You're very kind! I'm glad that I could play a small part in it.

  • LarryandSusan Mills

    on May 14, 2014

    Kelli and Caleb, thank you so much for sharing this story. Kelli, your grace and strength are amazing! Caleb, you have captured Kelli's elegance and beauty so beautifully..God Bless you on your journey Kelli and thank you for sharing your story in such a lovely way.

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