Young Adult Survivors United Golf Outing 2022
This past Saturday, I had the honor of photographing the 2nd Annual Young Adult Survivors United Golf Outing! It was amazing. It was emotional. It was fun. It was mind-blowing.
What was mind-blowing about this event, you may ask?
The things that we are missing day-in and day-out in this world. But for 6 hours on Saturday, roughly 500 people felt all of these emotions and more, thanks to one person, Stephanie. The founder and executive director of YASU.
The images that I am sharing first with you will hopefully give you some insight to these emotions.
First, get you a friend like Steph. Immediately. Luckily, she’s been mine for about 20 years!! She kicked the hell out of cancer at the age of 20, right when we were in the middle of college.
(I’ll give you the quick run-down of how YASU was founded.)
Steph realized that there was nothing; no programming, no support, etc, to aid in young adults that were supposed to be flourishing on their own in college, or getting married, having babies, yet facing a cancer diagnosis. Taking semesters off from college for chemo, leaving newborns at home while they underwent treatments and scans. And that is where YASU was founded!! She is able to provide grants for things like rent, hospital bills, date nights, groceries, etc.
Things that we take for granted everyday.
The pictures below depict some wonderful moments.
The one thing that I see the most is Steph’s smile. It’s always been that beautiful and radiant but when I see it now, my heart beams with pride for her.
The first photo is in loving memory of one of her group members, Raelene, who passed away just 3 days after the golf outing last year. Notice the butterflies on her sign?!?! Well, as Steph was speaking of this beautiful ray of sun, a butterfly softly flew into the tent, right past Steph and the group of cancer survivors lined up next to her. To say that everyone was shocked would be an understatement. Chills everywhere.
Then, there’s a photo of Steph’s mom. If you’re a mom, I really don’t need to say how she feels. I can’t even imagine what is going through her mind as she watches her youngest child change the society of young adults with cancer. She never took her eyes off of her.
Next up is Tara. Tara is a melanoma survivor and we were lucky enough to hear her story. The message I took from her story was to be your own advocate. Fight for what you know and believe. She is lucky that she did this for herself, it saved her life. I was speaking with Tara afterwards and as she told me the hardships that she is still facing at the young age of 32 is so disheartening. I wish I could bottle up everything that I could to help her, help them all.
(BUT WE CAN HELP IF WE DONATE TO YASU!!!!)
As they began to announce the winners of the outing, foursomes came to collect their winnings, sat down and then walked their monetary winnings and donated them right back to YASU. Then, it just kept rolling.
One golfer won a beautiful flower arrangement, walked over and donated it to a lovely volunteer. You can see her tears as she was so taken aback and thankful for the kind gesture.
This people, is what it’s all about. Forgetting about what’s on TV, politics, social media and coming back down to the core of life. Remembering, that everyone is struggling in some way, shape or form. Remembering that one small thing can save a person from their worst day on earth or encourage them to pass it along.
Thank you, Steph, for reminding me the true value of life.
I will love you forever, friend.
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