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Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Jahvis Collins. I spent some time having fun on the beach with his sister, daddy and step-mum. They are a special family. Special because they are strong. Special because they are fighters. Special because they have so much love between them. Jahvis is six years old and, like any other boy his age, he is full of energy and enthusiasm, yet, this tough little man has battled far more in the last year than many of us will in a lifetime.


In August 2012, Jahvis’ parents were given the terrible news that no parent wants to hear. They were told that Jahvis was suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. He quickly started chemotherapy and underwent three rounds, battling all the way.  In January he also underwent a bone marrow/stem cell transplant. I have been told that throughout this whole process he refused to wear hospital gowns, opting instead for skinny jeans and funky tees and kept a smile on his face throughout. The hospital staff were amazed with his attitude and spirit.


Progress followed and he went into remission. By August, Jahvis started back at school after missing a whole school year. The tutoring he’d been having in hospital had meant that not only had it not affected his grades – he was actually ahead of his classmates.


Unfortunately though, Jahvis’ white blood cells were decreasing and so, on 24 September 2013, he had to have a bone marrow aspiration to establish the cause. The same day they were given the devastating news that the Leukaemia had returned and were faced with only two options:-

1. Put Jahvis through 2 more rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. They were told that if they chose this option, the chances of him even surviving the chemo were very slim. OR

2. Reject the chemo and bone marrow transplant and make him comfortable until he passes away.


The family were, understandably, not happy with either option and started their search for alternatives. They immediately started to treat Jahvis naturally with the assistance of Naturopaths and Herbalists and feel that after only a few days, they have seen an improvement.  They are currently looking at alternative cancer treatment facilities abroad.


Their other priority is to enjoy life with Jahvis and this is how I ended up photographing him last Saturday. His family want him to have great experiences and fun-filled days and that kind of positivity rubs off – this family shoot was great fun! This is what is so inspiring; that in the face of adversity they are approaching everything in a positive way and this is something we can all no doubt learn from.

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I have heard it said that you never know how strong you will be until you HAVE to be strong. Never has there been a truer expression. Not just for Jahvis, but his sister, daddy and step-mum too. This poem seemed so appropriate:-


What cancer cannot do

It cannot cripple love

It cannot shatter hope

It cannot corrode faith

It cannot eat away peace

It cannot destroy confidence

It cannot kill friendship

It cannot shut out memories

It cannot quench the spirit

It cannot silence courage

It cannot reduce eternal life

Author Unknown


Please offer your support, by liking their Facebook Page – Fighting for Jahvis Collins and sharing Jahvis’ story. Of course, if you have any contacts and information regarding natural therapy centres for leukaemia, please can you get in touch with the family. Time is of the essence.


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