It's not often you get to meet a child like Lilly. Lilly is three years old, and has a number of conditions she lives with every day, but what I really noticed most when I met Lilly however, was her character...
I have known Lilly's mum, Paula, since I was a small child, often playing with her and her sister, Sara, in their back garden, and they both now have beautiful, young children of their own.
The moment I met Lilly for the first time, when I took her pictures, she welcomed me. She clung on to my finger tight, gave me kisses, and showed me her favourite sensory toys, smiling and giggling the whole time. It's rare to meet such a loving child, who shows affection to a stranger so readily.
It was important for me to raise awareness of what Lilly, and her family, fight against every day.
Paula's mum explains: "We don't have a diagnosis at the moment, the genetics clinic are still trying to find one. Lilly has severe global developmental delay (she is still unable to hold her head up, can't sit up, crawl or walk), bilateral sensorineural hearing loss (profoundly deaf) and has cochlea implants. Microcephaly (she has a small head and her brain doesn't grow properly), and also a Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) feeding tube. I'm very proud of her and wouldn't change her for the world, she's made me a better person and I'm always learning things from her. Erica and George (Paula's eldest children) are so good with her too and are very understanding about Lilly needing my constant attention."
I read many different photography blogs, and so rarely do I see a child like Lilly. It's been my pleasure to get to know her, and tell you all about her too. While I may love location shoots, to be welcomed into a child's home, where they are at their most safe and comfortable, is special indeed.
Last but not least, some mentions to some very special places and charities to Paula and Lilly.
Glyne Gap Nursery:
Paula says "The nursery teachers are amazing with parents as well as the children, they're more like part of the family than teachers, I couldn't ask for a better nursery, and Lilly will be attending their school next year."
Charity For Kids, Hastings, who bought Lilly her special p-pod chair: http://www.charityforkids.co.uk
National Children's Deaf Society http://www.ndcs.org.uk/
Thank you xx