It was back in 2014 when the father of photographer Lora Scantling was losing the battle against lung cancer. He decided to do something that would speak a thousand words and draw attention. His idea? Photographing three little girls fighting their own battles against cancer.
One beautiful and powerful photo showed Rylie (three-years old), Rheann (six-years old) and Ainsley (four-years old), embracing. It wasn’t long before the image went viral.
The girls instantly became friends and now, after succeeding in their fight against cancer, they get together once a year and take another portrait together.
This one was taken in 2015.
This is the portrait from 2016.
Scantling recently revealed the 2017 portrait on her Facebook page and the girls are absolutely thriving.
The girls are holding a gold ribbon in the picture, the symbol of childhood cancer awareness. They also got together to take another photo of their original embrace from three years ago.
Scantling said it was her hope, and the hope of the girls’ families, that they would continue to be an inspiration and raise the awareness of childhood cancer.
“There needs to be more funding for childhood cancer so they can update treatments,” Scantling said, referring to how only 4% of federal cancer research funding is directed to pediatric cancers.
Scantling enjoys working with the girls as much as the girls themselves enjoy the phot shoots. She says that Rheann is “sassy and sweet”, Rylie is “shy and goofy”, and says that Ainsley is “wild and silly, with the sweetest, most tender voice!”
The girls took their last photoshoot as a chance to reflect on their battles with cancer.