This love story is a very special one for me. Though I have gone back and forth in my head about how I want to write it. I decided the best thing I can do is be honest, to be true and hope to inspire people the way Kristen and Sean have inspired me. This love story is about strength, unconditional love, and vulnerability. It's about the better and the worse, the sickness and the health.
I remember the day Kristen's mother called me to ask if I was available for the wedding which was only 5 months away. I was driving downtown, feeling a little crabby. I answered the phone while driving, something I rarely do. She sounded a bit nervous. She asked me if I was available on the date of her daughter's wedding and if I could shoot an engagement session within a few days of the phone call. She told me that within 2 months of getting engaged Sean, Kristen's finance had been diagnosed with stage IV Glioblastoma multiforme, a type of brain cancer and he was going in for surgery this week to try to remove it. I pulled over immediately. I snapped out of my selfish crabbiness and did everything I could to hold back the tears. Yes! I exclaimed to Kristen's mother. I will most defiantly do the wedding and I will clear my schedule for the engagement session ASAP.
When I met Kristen and Sean for their engagement session they were vibrant and happy. They joked a lot. I asked Kristen what her favorite thing about Sean was and she said she loves how smart he is. Sean said he loves how much she makes him laugh. I wanted to make sure the session wasn't about anything but them enjoying each other. It was the day before a life changing surgery, I didn't want any of the focus to be on that and neither did they. We laughed and talked and got to know each other. I left Kristen with a polaroid to hold onto while she was waiting at the hospital.
Sean's surgery went well. They removed a lot of the tumor, he has to go through frequent radiation and daily chemo treatments. He is currently still undergoing chemo to keep the cancer from growing They have to take things day by day, enjoying every minute they are given with each other. Something we all should do, really.
I hadn't seen Kristen and Sean since the engagement session. When I arrived on the wedding day I was so excited to spend the day with them. Everyone was in good spirits. Kristen looked absolutely stunning. They did a first look so they would have more time to spend alone that day. From the time Sean first set eyes on Kristen he lit up and admired her all day. Though Sean's cancer is something that has become an very important part of their lives, on their wedding day it was barely even mentioned. The day was about celebrating the present and their hopes for the future, about celebrating their love.
I have kept in touch with Kristen throughout the past few months since the wedding. I am so happy to say that Sean is doing great. He is still battling the cancer, but has not let it stop him from getting his degree, landing a dream job, and getting a house with Kristen. They even adopted a second dog, though I think that was more Kristen's idea. ;) I feel very fortunate that I have crossed paths with these beautiful couple. I hope the huge love they have for each other continues to give them the strength to continue living a life full of happiness together.
I can never say enough about how gorgeous the Bell Event Centre is.