After discovering a friend, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, was ailing, Erin Wallis was inspired to help in any way she could.
Wallis, a close family friend of Campbell River raised Kim Wood (Black), decided to combine her love of photography and passion for the cystic fibrosis cause, to host a halloween themed fundraiser after discovering Wood was back in the hospital with complications due to cystic fibrosis.
“Her Facebook status was gloomier than usual, and it really tore my heart out to not be able to do anything for her,” said Wallis.
To help fight cystic fibrosis, Wallis, a professional photographer, will set up a studio at Campbell River Common to photograph children in their Halloween costume on Sunday.
Wallis says she can understand what parents of sick children go through after experiencing a scare just after her own daughter Maisie was born in April, 2010.
While in the emergency department with Maisie, who was having difficulty breathing, she imagined what it would be like for a parent to hear the diagnosis of “cystic fibrosis” instead of “here is some medication to make her better.” Throughout her life Wallis has watched the Black family and others work hard to raise funds to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis so people like Wood could have a longer and better life. Wallis herself has helped with many of these events and some of her photos are used by Cystic Fibrosis Canada in brochures and advertising.
Wallis recalls Wood as a child using a nebulizer, taking lots of pills, having her daily physiotherapy to help clear her lungs and her frequent trips to the hospital.
Wallis was so inspired by Wood’s fighting spirit that she decided to embark on her own fundraiser for the cystic fibrosis cause.
“Sometimes the fight seems overwhelming, like it might be too much – you’ll see Kim’s statuses go to ‘Not particularly excited about my upcoming hospital food hospital bed, PICC line and having my life revolve around an IV medication schedule,’” Wallis said. “And then, she turns a corner and comes out fighting – and they go to ‘Just wanted to say thank you all so very much for all your well wishes, thoughts, positive healing energy and everything else you’ve all sent me. I feel so loved and cared for and am happy to finally be out of the hospital! ‘ And you just want to stand up and cheer and hug someone. Kim is an inspiration and I love her dearly.”
To help support Wallis’ fundraiser, bring your child in full costume to the mall from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Oct.30.
“It is a win win situation,” Wallis said. “I get to spend a few hours photographing your hilarious small people all dressed up, and you get photos of your little ones dressed up, and Cystic Fibrosis Canada will benefit.
For more information see Erin’s blog, www.erinwallis.com/blog