Andrew & Shannah – Tom’s Story
The first time I met Andrew & Shannah was on their wedding day, and I’d only ever spoken with them the week before their wedding.
They’d had to organize a whole wedding in 2 weeks as Andrew’s son Tom had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at the age of 7 and they didn’t know how long they’d have with him, one of his dreams was to be at their wedding.
As if their hands weren’t full enough already with Tom being very sick in hospital for the last 12 months & kids Cameron (Tom’s twin brother) & nearly 2 year old Lula keeping them busy they now had a wedding to plan and only 2 weeks to do it.
So when I heard of their Story through a friend in the wedding industry I offered to photograph their wedding.
I have 2 kids of my own & can’t even imagine what they were going through and just wanted to help. I didn’t want Andrew & Shannah to have to worry about finding a photographer last minute on top of everything else going on and so I donated my time on the day, it felt like the absolute least I could do given the circumstances.
I’d love to tell you that this story has a happy ending but last week poor little Tom lost his battle with Cancer and passed away in his sleep with his parents by his side holding his hand. 13 months to the day after being diagnosed.
It was an honour to be a part of such a special day.
You can read Tom’s story here – https://www.gofundme.com/adventures-for-tom
On the wedding day boy’s prep was done up at The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital where Tom had spent the past year.
Even though he was very tired & would drift off to sleep occasionally I also saw his cheeky side and managed to capture a cheeky smile here and there. His Brother Cameron still looking after him & helping him get dressed for the wedding.
Tom was allowed out of hospital for a couple of hours and was able to be there at the ceremony, in fact the ceremony was held at one of Tom’s most favourite places down by the river at Kangaroo Point.
It was a huge day for Tom & for all involved.
There were tears, lots of tears, but there was also lots of laughter.
There is no doubt it was one of the hardest weddings I’ve had to shoot and to hear that poor little Tom passed not even 6 weeks later just breaks my heart.
I wasn’t going to post any photos from their special day as some things just don’t need to be shared, just being there and photographing their day was enough for me.
But Andrew & Shannah have both been happy for me to share with you Tom’s story and after all it is to be celebrated.
Ben Clark Photography
Mob: 0408 727 982
See our latest work: https://benclarkphotography.com.au/latest-weddings-gallery/
Master Photographer (AIPP) – Aust Inst of Professional Photographers