This is Ashton….
If I had to do an acrostic poem with his name:
A mazing kiddo
S ensative to his little brother
H olds the Lord and his teachings close
T ickled by runners who do so without a shirt (he found this quite amusing)
O verwhelming love from his family and friends
N ot just your average 7 year old..oh so much more
Ashton has AVM… AVM (Arterial Venous Malformation). As his mom cites, “I am now an AVM expert, but it is one word I wish I never learned. We all have arteries and the blood flows quickly through the arteries. Arteries lead to capillaries which slow the blood flow down before it reaches the veins. Ashton does not have the capillaries and the area where the capillaries are supposed to be is malformed, hence Arterial-Venous Malformation or AVM. Ashton does not have 1, but 4-5. Unfortunately, AVMs are more common than we originally thought but he has numerous and his are very involved and large. It was determined that they are not able to fix or operate on them because they are so diffuse and deep within the brain. Having an AVM causes other problems and puts him at risk for a stroke but they felt that attempting to fix them could cause more problems.”
Wow, right? By the way, Ashton’s incredible Mom has written a little history if you will about her awesome son…and you can read that here.
This session was arranged through a pretty neat organization called Inspiration Through Art (and if you click on that link you can read more about them as well). We (Ashton’s Mom and I) have quite a few mutual friends however, so I had already been following Ashton and his story. I was so excited when she contacted me to do this session!
If one thing stuck out to me at this particular session, it was the LOVE. I mean, look at Ashton and the way he cares for his little brother Jonah. Do you see the happiness on his face when his mom is kissing him? The pictures radiate how special their bond is, and THAT is truly something i couldn’t pose or “make” happen. I am just there to capture it–so that is just what I did!
I think his mom Betsy says it best, “I certainly won’t claim that our life is easy or that I didn’t wish my child was normal. He has gotten stared at, made fun of, and even followed so people could get a look at the veins on his face. It breaks my heart that this little boy that has been through so much gets stared at sometimes made fun of by other children and even adults. However, he never lets it get him down and responds with, ‘this is how God made me.’ In my eyes there is a big difference between being curious and mean. I prayed and prayed that he would live to see his 1st birthday and he is 7!! Each year, each day, each hour with him is a blessing and we are blessed to be his parents. He did not walk until almost 2 years of age. The joy that we felt is immeasurable. Looking at this child who suffered so much take his first steps is a feeling I could not describe. I dream of watching him ride a bike and graduating. I dream of the bright future filled with joy and happiness. I don’t care what he does as long as he is safe, happy, and healthy.”
Enjoy this peek of Ashton and his biggest blessings…..and please read his story when you have a moment. It’s worth listening to.
Dana ascenzi - What a beautiful story. This family actually lives in the same development as we do and have said hi in passing from time to time. I always wondered what his condition was but, would never have asked and made certain never to make him feel as if we were staring. It looks like to spite his diagnosis he is a loving, and beautiful little boy. Lindsay, you always seem to capture special moments and these pictures are just incredible. They are really exceptional.
Betsy - Lindsay, I CAN NOT thank you enough for capturing Ashton’s spirit! He is a happy, loving, gentle child! He is an amazing son and brother. These pictures are him and YOU are amazing!! Our session has been such a blessing and we will forever cherish these amazing pictures. What a great way to start my day. THANK YOU!!!!
Laura Barnaba - What beautiful pictures of this family! Thank you so much for also sharing Betsy’s story. You did such a wonderful job capturing the way he looks over his baby brother. The pictures and story made me cry. Ashton is truly a miracle!
gail jordan - Dear Lindsay-What can I say??? WOW!!!! Thank you for sharing these amazing pictures & amzing story of this special little family! As the grandmother of 6 plus 1 on the way-I never knew that one’s heart could EVER be large enough to LOVE & cherish each & every one of them. Ashton, of course, is impoosible not to LOVE once U meet him. And his brother is just the sweetest little guy, who just seems to fit in the realm of things. He too has bben affected by this storu, good & not so good. Two other of my grandchildren, Jenna & Jackson, have been the “subjects” of your talents. They 2 are very special & fit into this realm. They are very dearing/caring, especially to Ashton. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do & for bringing out all the “Beauty” of those so dear to me! For behind evry cloud there truly is a silver lining. As u have experienced, meeting Ashton & his family truly opens a space in your heart!!! Love & God bless!!! GG
Lara - What a beautiful family and you are right you can see every ounce of love! I can’t wait to read Ashton’s story. This is such a beautiful way to bring awareness to AVM. Awesome job as slways, Lindsay 🙂
Toni Mingioni - Ashton is a patient in the pediatric office where I work. When Ashton walks in the door for a visit he just brings a smile to my face. I have never met a more loving family then the Dean’s. No matter what kind of day they are having they always have a smile on their faces and very kind words to say to everyone. I feel so very blessed to know these wonderful people and their story has touched my heart deeply. I pray everyday for God to keep Ashton in his loving care, and to allow him to grow into a fine young man and to be able do all the things that make him happy. Ashton has certainly touched my heart and he is truely my inspiration.
My love to the Dean Family!
Jill - This proud aunt LOVES these pictures. Hmmm, I will take one of each!
Lindsay-you are awesome for providing this experience for this wonderful family! Thank you!
Love you sister and family!
Kristine Jordan - Nothing like brotherly love! Ashton clearly is just tickled with his younger brother.