A wedding story to share: Katie Kirkpatrick

I received an email from a friend which tells a story about a brave young lady who held off cancer to celebrate the happiest day of her life. I am so moved by the story and I just want to share this.

The photos below were taken by Romain Blanquart, a staff photographer with the Detroit Free Press.

The Story…
Katie had chased cancer, once only to have it return-to clog her lungs and grab hold of her heart. Breathing was difficult now, she had to use oxygen. The pain in her back was so intense it broke through the morphine that was supposed to act as a shield. Her organs were shutting down but it would not stop her from marrying Nick Godwin, 23, who was in love with Katie since 11th grade.

Her name is Katie Kirkpatrick, 21 yrs old.. Next to her is her fiancé, Nick, 23.
This picture was taken prior to their wedding January 11th, 2005. Katie has terminal cancer and spends hours in chemotherapy. Here Nick awaits while she finishes one of the sessions…

Even in pain and dealing with her organs shutting down, with the help of morphine, Katie took care of every single part of the wedding planning. Her dress had to be adjusted several times due to Katie’s constant weight loss.

An expected guest was her oxygen tank. Katie had to use it during the ceremony and reception.
The other couple in this picture is Nick’s parents, very emotional with the wedding and of course to see their son marrying the girl he fell in love when he was an adolescent.

Katie, in a wheel chair listening to her husband and friends singing to her.

In the middle of the party, Katie had to rest for a bit and catch her breath. The pain does not allow her to stand for long period of time.

Katie died 5 days after her wedding. To see a fragile woman dress as bride with a beautiful smile makes you think… happiness is always there within reach, no matter how long it lasts…..lets enjoy life and don’t live a complicated life. Life is too short.

On Valentine’s Day 2002, Katie Kirkpatrick, then a freshman at Rochester College (a small Christian college in Rochester Hills, Michigan) was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Undaunted, Katie strove to keep up with her studies, but she suffered another setback in 2003 when she was diagnosed with “an inoperable lung tumor wrapped around her pulmonary artery.” Nonetheless, in 2004 the resilient Katie took part in champion cyclist Lance Armstrong’s “Ride for the Roses” cancer fundraiser:

Dr. Craig Bowman of the Bible faculty spearheaded a campus and area-wide effort that raised $28,000 which made one of Katie’s dreams come true: riding with six-time Tour de France winner and fellow cancer survivor Lance Armstrong in his Ride for the Roses cancer fundraiser.

Says Katie of Armstrong, “I like his attitude and his perseverance. I admire him for the way he dealt with his cancer, and his attitude: ‘You know what, this isn’t going to beat me!'”

On 15 January 2005, 21-year-old Katie — the girl “with a contagious smile and unrelenting optimism” who had been battling cancer for three years — married Lapeer County sheriff’s deputy Nick Godwin, her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, at Church of Christ in Hazel Park, Michigan. Katie Kirkpatrick Godwin passed away at the McLaren Regional Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, on 20 January 2005, just five days after her wedding. Her husband, Nick, said of the wedding and Katie’s passing: “It was wonderful. It was a dream come true. She was the most beautiful angel ever — just caring and selfless, and such an inspiration to everyone. She was always smiling no matter what happened, no matter what news she got. She was as close to perfect as they come.”

She did not let sickness stop her from living, take away the hope or faith that made her believe she had a future. She had a lovely wedding and she had love and she gave love and love doesn’t die. And that is how Katie beat cancer.
Additional photographs of Katie and her wedding can be viewed on the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) web site.

Katie’s Spa in Lapeer, Michigan (a business which specializes in services to cancer patients), is named in Katie’s memory, as is Katie’s Wings, a non-profit organization established to help bring assistance to people affected by cancer.

Sadly, the event that likely prompted circulation of this item in March 2009 was the death of Katie’s father, David B. Kirkpatrick, who passed away that month after his own battle with cancer.


Life as a wedding photographer

Wedding photography is often seen as one of the most glamorous jobs in the line of photography. Yes indeed, it has its perks. We get to shoot beautiful people at beautiful locations. We get to witness the joining of hearts and to share in the joy and fun at wedding ceremonies and receptions.

Yes, Wedding photography is about glamour, fashion, having lots of fun and having a good time.

I just love this job!

Here are some of the snapshots of us at work just to tease you, my readers:

Photographer at Work

Charlene shooting a beautiful couple during a magical and awesome sunset

Photographer at work

Here, I was being shot by other photographer while I was doing a portrait with the bridal couple.

Yea, there are the other side of the stories as well. Being a wedding photographer means I have to acquire many skills. Wedding photography is not just about shooting the bridal couples and their families. It is also about how to communicate with people, directing the shoots, participating in the itinerary of the day and finally, packaging the images into beautiful photo stories for the bridal couple to cherish. It is a multi-faceted job. It is hardwork, but ultimately, rewarding.

My passion for photography, especially wedding photography, has never ceased to grow. I am just so glad that I have found a job that I absolutely love.

Came off a big weekend….

Charlene and I just came of a big weekend. Two back to back weddings on Saturday and Sunday. We were so tired but totally satisfied. We have already started the post processing work on the images from both the shoots. I am predicting that it will take us a couple of weeks before we will finish post processing the images.

Yvette and Shane, Sevan and Lorne – if you guys are reading this post…. once again, our heart-felt congratulations to your marriage and wonderful wedding day. Charlene and I had absolutely fabulous time at your weddings. You guys were just tops!!! Both weddings were fun and you guys were just so natural in front of the camera. We couldn’t ask for better bridal couples than you two. We were so honoured to be your wedding photographers.

Here are some sneak peaks:

Looking out

Bride on stairwell

Formal pose

Strolling in the woods

Did you marry the right person?

I received an email this morning and thought this is a great message to share around, a real food for thought:

Those who are still single may learn something from here…
Those who are already married may take it as a guideline to improve your marriage & relationship ….


During one of our seminars, a woman asked a common question. She said, ‘How do I know if I married the right person?’
I noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so I said, ‘It depends. Is that your husband?’ In all seriousness, she answered ‘How do you know?’

Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it’s weighing on your mind.

Here’s the answer.
EVERY relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse / partner . You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies (unconventional behavior/habit) ..

Falling in love with your spouse wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called ‘falling’ in love… Because it’s happening TO YOU.

People in love sometimes say, ‘I was swept of my feet.’ Think about the imagery of that __expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is easy. It’s a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few years of marriage, the euphoria (excitement) of love fades. It’s the natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship, but if you think about your marriage, you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your spouse might start asking, ‘Did I marry the right person?’ And as you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when marriages breakdown. People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment.

Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances.

But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage. It lies within it. I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else.
You could.

And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better. But you’d be in the same situation a few years later. Because (listen carefully to this):


SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It’ll NEVER just happen to you. You can’t ‘find’ LASTING love. You have to ‘make’ it day in and day out. That’s why we have the __expression ‘the labor of love.’ Because it takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it takes WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work.

Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage.

Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It’s a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable. .. you can ‘make’ love.

Love in marriage is indeed a ‘decision’.. . Not just a feeling.

Remember this always:
‘God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.’