As many of my blog followers may agree, I am definitely a picture-taker and not a writer. I do my best to write positively and according to my entries in order to describe the many adventures I experience as a photographer, mother, and wife. Well this time I am writing as a daughter and I ask my readers, in advance, for forgiveness as I stumble over this blog post in order to put into words the way that I feel about an unfortunate trial that has been placed in the lap of my family (in fact, as I am trying to type this my heart is pounding so loud I can hear it in my ears). This is for my dad.

Earlier this year he found himself randomly falling down and even found himself having trouble walking and lifting his right leg. He went in for some testing to see what was going on, only to find that there would be no solution and that he would never walk normal again. To make the long story short he was diagnosed with ALS (or many of you may know it as Lou Gehrig's disease, please click here to find a site that describes exactly what this disease is and how it can effect the victims that get diagnosed with it). In simple terms, this disease causes muscles to stop reacting to the brain's commands and eventually takes over the whole body. My dad was diagnosed with ALS officially in September and since then he has lost complete use of his right leg and his left leg is now fading faster than the right. The progression of this disease takes a different toll on each one of its victims, with my dad his ALS is progressing rapidly and he is already in an electrical wheelchair.

Now here is the reason for this post, I am reaching out to the world for help. I already know that my dad won't survive this, but with help, he can be comfortable in his last months (hopefully years). I am auctioning off a family portrait session to help raise funds that will be put to helping him with medical bills, rebuilding a handicap bathroom, or the purchase of a wheelchair accessible van. While I know that one family portrait session won't pay for all of this, every little bit will help, especially since my dad hasn't been able to work since August. I am starting the auction bidding at $250. I usually charge $500 for our portrait sittings. The sitting will include approxiamately two hours of coverage, online proofing, and a $100 print credit. Please email me at to submit your bids, I will close the bidding at midnight on new years eve. There has already been a savings account set up for him and everything donated is tax deductible. I really appreciate any help in this effort, I plan to do a few more auctions in the near future, but this is my first attempt.

Here is a photo of my dad and me taken about three weeks ago at Zion's National Park:

These next four photos make me laugh to tears, I tried to get a portrait of my dad, but this what I got instead:), I love you dad!

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ohana photographers - david & kimi said:
oh amelia we are so so sorry to hear about your dad. we will be praying for your family. big hugs!
(12.21.08 11:41 PM)
Paige Green said:
I am so very sorry Amelia. Your father and family are in our prayers. Blake and I can bid $300 for the portrait session.
(12.21.08 11:51 PM)
Lanne said:
Merry Christmas! I am so sorry to hear about your Dad's tough few months. Is there a paypal address that people can donate to?
(12.21.08 11:55 PM)
Steve Gerrard said:
We wish you and your dad all the best Amelia. Best of luck with the auction. It's a lovely thing to be able to help your dad in that way. Steve
(12.22.08 12:01 AM)
homejewel said:
I'm so sorry to hear about your father. I lost my father to ALS a few years ago. What a wonderful thing you are doing for him and also raising awareness of this devastating disease. I volunteer at a local high school and ran into a gentleman in a wheelchair who also has ALS (a volunteer, too). He is a remarkable man who decided that he could either stay at home and feel sorry for himself or he could make a difference in people's lives. Some look at ALS as only a death sentence. But for my dad and this sweet man, it was an opportunity to live life to the fullest - investing in relationships. My thoughts are with you and your family.
(12.22.08 01:27 AM)
Debbie S said:
God bless you and your Dad!
(12.22.08 06:23 AM)
Cynthia said:
I will pray for you and your father! My grandmother was diagnosed with ALS in stage four. For some reason she maintained use of all her limbs but lost use of her throat which is the last thing to go. Stay strong! It is a nasty disease but being positive is the best way to be!
(12.22.08 06:46 AM)
Ceece said:
I'm sorry to hear of your dad. I've said a prayer for him and you and wish you the best of luck with your auction!!
(12.22.08 07:16 AM)
Bobby Earle said:
I am sharing this blog post with as many people I can and saying a sincere, heartfelt prayer for your dad. I can't begin to imagine how good he must feel being so loved by his daughter ;) Bobby
(12.22.08 07:34 AM)
Amy said:
My blessings go out to your family. I just participated in a local walk for ALS in honor of my best friend's grandpa this past fall. Although he lost is battle last month, I know he was so pleased to see so many of us come together and support him. Each time I saw him I remember his spirit and enthusiasm to love every minute of life, and it looks like your father has that same love.
(12.22.08 07:39 AM)
angie monson said:
thanks for sharing this with all us, makes me miss my dad...
(12.22.08 07:41 AM)
Susana Perez said:
Amelia-Love your photos of you and your dad. My heart goes out to you and your family. This really hits home for me. A very close friend of mine had ALS. Actually he documented his journey through a very cute journal. You can check it out at this web site. Look for ALS adventures. May prayers go out to you. Love Susana
(12.22.08 08:00 AM)
ScotWharton said:
Amelia, my heart goes out to you! Those last 4 pics of your Dad are so AWESOME! Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
(12.22.08 08:09 AM)
Leila at Be Inspired PR said:
Amelia, what can i do to help? i would like to donate to the fund! how do i do it? let me know.. i am here with prayers and support. xo
(12.22.08 08:29 AM)
Leila at Be Inspired Pr said:
oops i noticed i spelled my website wrong. can you fix it? here it is!!
(12.22.08 08:30 AM)
Zak Schwank said:
I'm so sorry Amelia. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
(12.22.08 08:36 AM)
Sarah Rhoads said:
Amelia, this is beautiful..... there is something magic between a dad and a daughter. Thanks for sharing... he will be in my prayers :)
(12.22.08 09:14 AM)
Michelle Ellis said:
Oh Amelia, I'm so incredibly sorry to hear about your dad. I live quite far away otherwise I would bid(: Love the images of your father. He seems like quite the character! My family will light a candle for your family tonight.{{{hugs}}}
(12.22.08 09:21 AM)
amelialyon said:
thanks to everyone for the response so far! The bidding is currently at $500.
(12.22.08 09:43 AM)
Ashley Rose said:
I am so sorry to hear this :( your dad will be in my prayers! Completely not the same but my lil brother has epilepsy which is going to shorten his life and I cant even imagine that. All you can do is live in the now and enjoy every minute with the ones you love! *hugs* ashley
(12.22.08 09:45 AM)
erin said:
There is nothing like a daughters love for her dad...I hope you raise thousands of dollars for him.
(12.22.08 10:17 AM)
erica sergio said:
amelia ... i'm so sorry to hear about your dad. i love those portraits of him so much ... i can see the joy in his face. i will be praying for him & your whole family.
(12.22.08 10:39 AM)
cristen + w. scott chester said:
amelia our hearts are heavy as we read that your dad has ALS. we know how devastating this news has been to him + to your entire family. we wish all of you much strength, peace + love in the months ahead. how fantastic it is that you + justin are able to take such amazing photos of him with those he loves and truly capture his spirit and playfulness which will live on forever + your boys will cherish those images when they are older. if we lived closer we would definitely love to get in on the family portrait session auction bidding- what a great idea! if there is a link that we could donate to, please let us know. happy holidays!
(12.22.08 11:00 AM)
amelialyon said:
ooh Aelia! It is so hard for me to even look at these photos without crying out loud! I am so happy that you are doing this for DAD! For some reason I am overwhelmed by the photos of him making those silly faces... There is my Dad I haven't seen in SO many years! It makes my cry & laugh as well! I love you sister We are here for each other!
(12.22.08 11:13 AM)
sandie said:
you are more beautiful and amazing everyday! What a wonerful way you have created to help your dad ! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
(12.22.08 11:51 AM)
molly freestone said:
Amelia, I have been a follower of your blog for about a year. I had no idea that your father had ALS. And I think its the most unbelievable coincidence that you finally mentioned it. My uncle Chip Hess died of lou gehrig's disease a few years ago. He left behind a wife and five young children. The youngest, was only 5. It was so hard for my family. It has been so hard n to this day. We prayed and prayed for a miracle and we didn't get the miracle we were hoping for and I personally struggled with that so much. He did all the weird outrageous latest things in hopes to prolong or have the disease spontaniously arrest. He went to China and had stem cell research related stuff injected into his brain. He was on a crazy diet. He was seeing the best doctors in the world. But it took him so fast. My Dad, is a physicians assistant. Nothing fancy. But in the last few years he has grown unfond of alopathic medicine and has kind of become the GURU in our area in regenerative medicine. Mostly its great for the little things. Mostly we are just cured of the common cold and cough and rashes, but cancer patients have been coming to my dad, and gone into remission. He told my mom a few months ago after a convention that the disease ALS had come up and these Doctors have completely figured out how to "cure" it if you will. The reason this hasn't been HUGE is because its all natural stuff that can not be patented so it doesn't make the big dogs money. Maybe you are one of those who doesn't want to do weird stuff. I understand that. But if you are interested, I think my dad would love to try out the things he has learned. If you are at all interested, in even just hearing what my dad has to say, because really I understand none of it, and Im probably explaining everything wrong, I suggest that you call or email! His name is Blen Freestone. His phone number is (435) 459-9126, and his email is I wish the very best for your father and your family. After my uncle was diagnosed, he learned many stories of people that had ALS for decades, and lived a long happy life. Sadly he wasn't one of them. Keep in touch!! Molly Freestone
(12.22.08 01:37 PM)
Jashe of Bashe said:
You Rock HARD CORE. Your Dad is a testament to everyone, that in all trying times of our lives, we can still be happy and make the most out of what life throws at us. Awesomeness with a cherry on top.
(12.22.08 02:07 PM)
amelialyon said:
Molly, wow, thank you for sharing what you know with me. I will definitely pass on this info to my dad and have him email your dad. I completely believe in alternative medicine, so this is awesome!
(12.22.08 02:31 PM)
kerri mcconnell said:
amelia - my prayers are with your father and your family. i don't live anywhere near you, but i would like to donate some money in the meantime to help with expenses. my grandfather was diagnosed with a rare form of MD and in a very short period of time, he has lost complete use of everything except his hands. please let me know what i can do.
(12.22.08 02:46 PM)
Melanie said:
Amelia, what a powerful and transformative love you and your father share! My heart goes out to you and your family and I pray for your dad's health. The pictures you shared are beautiful and moving. I wish you all the best in your quest. {{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}} Melanie
(12.22.08 02:56 PM)
Julie Cruz said:
Oh Amelia, my heart is breaking for your family :( I hope that a miracle happens and that your dad is able to beat this somehow. He looks like such a fun and amazing person. Do you have a donation site set up? Maybe through PayPal? That way for those who can't afford to bid hundreds of dollars...we can still help out in some way? Even if each person just donates $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, can add onto the winning bid and help your dad. Please let me know :) Thanks!
(12.22.08 03:19 PM)
Cinde Huston said:
You guys are such an amazing, supportive, loving family!! It's so fun to see you all togehter. You are all so supportive of your father and the cause, i love it! I met your dad a few weeks ago, and he is such a sweet man! I can now see little hints of him in both you and Nicole... my heart is with your family always!
(12.22.08 04:08 PM)
lauren kinsey said:
Amelia, I cried and cried reading this. my husband's uncle passed away from this horrible horrible disease, and I can understand how hard this is for you. Your have a beautiful soul for doing what you do, and especially for what you are doing for your dad. If there is anything I can do, or if you just need to talk, you know where to find me.
(12.22.08 04:46 PM)
lauren said:
there is nothing like the bond between a father and his daughter. this i know for sure. you will be in my thoughts & prayers, amelia. *
(12.22.08 05:49 PM)
ashley bartoletti said:
what a thoughtful idea! i'm so sorry to hear what your family is going through. my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer in april and now just 9 months later she can't walk and barely speaks, so I can definitely relate to what you're going through. here's a quick snapshot of her looking lovely: anyway best of luck raising money to help your family, and i hope your family has a joyful holiday season
(12.22.08 10:18 PM)
Stephen White said:
Amelia, thank you SO much for helping to raise awareness and advocating to educate the public on ALS!! You may be interested in Sheri Allison's endeavor, "Forward Focus, (
(12.23.08 05:49 AM)
jesse chamberlin said:
i would most certainly bid if i lived in your area! the photos of your dad are so sweet...
(12.23.08 07:41 AM)
Elise said:
Amelia- I love you family and have been lucky enough to spend time with your dad! I now know where Kenny gets his fun personality. You and your family are always in our prayers. You have a lot of friends who care about you and will be here during your hard times. Thank you for sharing these pictures with everyone.
(12.23.08 09:17 AM)
Krista Photography said:
I'm so sorry your Dad is sick! I can't even imagine how hard all of this is on him, you and your whole family. I pray that you'd be able to raise a LOT of money to help him out! I bet your Dad feels so blessed to have a daughter who loves him so much :)
(12.23.08 11:30 AM)
Marlene said:
I stumbled upon your blog a little while ago and was totally amazed by your talent. I am touched by your dad's story and hope and pray he gets the help he needs through your noble efforts. I love the pictures of you and your Dad at Zion (no "s". Sorry, I'm a little neurotic about that because I minored in Geology and EVERYONE adds an "s" to it's name.) National Park. What a beautiful place to be with your family! I love how you captured the moment.
(12.23.08 11:49 AM)
Jacob said:
Amelia, i wish i had $100,000 so I can make a bid. Your photos are absolutely beyond amazing and are inspiring to other photographers such as myself. I wish your Dad well and pray for complete recovery. The most important thing in life is an awesome loving family and it seems like your dad has one.....
(12.23.08 12:30 PM)
gilcelia said:
amelia, i am so sorry to hear about your dad. is there a paypal address i can use to donate? i can't help with a lot but i'll do the best i can... merry xmas to you guys.
(12.24.08 09:33 AM)
Lyndzee said:
Amelia,,, I love how strong and supportive your family is, which is how it should be. Your father is blessed to have such amazing daughters to do what they can to help support him in this hard time. I didn't cry until I scrolled to that first picture of you and him,, so sweet. We just love your family so much and can see the apparent love and closeness there. Your Dad is in our prayers and we love you guys!!!
(12.24.08 10:32 AM)
Tyler Jacobs said:
This news makes me sad, Amelia. I always liked Uncle Ken. He always came off to me as a man who loved his family and was invested in his children. I was jealous! I wish I had something to offer aside from my prayers and best wishes. We love you guys.
(12.24.08 08:39 PM)
heather said:
hey Amelia's of my dearest grandmothers passed from ALS a few years ago. it was an intense and growing time for everyone involved, but of course, especially for Donna (my Grandmother). I won't expand on specific details of my own personal humbling experience with this unfortunate disease, but I will express the appreciation I have for your daughter's amazing talent...thus the love I have for a man who loves his daughter in such a way that she was enabled to live and share such a beautiful insight into others via photography. (high fives all around...) I have no true ability to understand what you are going through, but I have seen how devastating it can be. Continue to hold your head high (as I assume you are) and know that others are wishing on the brightest star for you...and Amelia, stay strong little lady...and thank you, always.
(12.24.08 10:17 PM)
brooke schwab said:
your dad has a wonderful light in his eyes. good luck with the auction. blessings and prayers.
(12.24.08 10:26 PM)
Dad said:
My dear daughter Amelia, I am so incredibly touched by the love and well wishes from all of your blog buddies. The things which have been posted have added to my life additional peace, great courage and an abundance of gratitude in life. I have decided that I no longer have ALS. I now have ALD, “A Lucky Dad”. However, this disease doesn’t ever end, it goes on forever! How could any father be discouraged, regardless of the situation, when he is blessed with such a loving family? I can not begin to tell you how deeply I love you. I understand how difficult this is in your life. I need you to know that everything is alright and the strength we are learning from this trial is far beyond our ability to understand today, but will be of priceless value in our future lives. I love you and you family so much. Love, Dad I just have one last thing to say to you. HAVE A GREAT DAY!
(12.25.08 08:03 AM)
CReid said:
Hey Amelia Stay positive...and good luck with this cause. Regards, Carl
(12.26.08 12:46 PM)
Julie Parker said:
I just used up a box of tissues after reading what your Dad posted! You and your dad are in my prayers and I will put his name in at the temple.
(12.28.08 01:50 PM)
Emily Quinton said:
If we lived nearer I would be placing a bid! I wish you all the best with raising as much money as you can for your wonderful dad. My thoughts are with you all.
(12.29.08 12:48 PM)
ksen :) said:
i am so sorry to hear about this Amelia. i am, however, happy to see that you are surrounded my so much love during this time. my hearts, thoughts & prayers are with you guys. ps. i absolutely love those images -- they seem to really capture your Dad & his fun-loving spirit! :)
(12.29.08 06:01 PM)
Heather Brown said:
So I just got out my box of tissues as I read ALL of these comments. And then I hit your dads. Holy Cow!! ALD!!! I can't do much but I am sending some to the address you posted above. You are a strong woman and I wish you and your family the best. Stay strong, you are loved all over the world!!
(12.30.08 11:17 AM)
Mary Jensen said:
Dearest Amelia & Dad ~ my thoughts and prayers are with you both throught this difficult journey. How truly lucky you both are to have each others love and support. I think you both have ALD "a lucky Dad" and "a lucky Daughter" Wishing you miracles, peace and love in the New year. Your friend, Mary
(12.31.08 03:03 PM)
Jasmine Marie said:
Sending prayers your way. God is good and He always provides. I'm looking forward to seeing how He works through your family. :) Happy New Years!
(12.31.08 10:18 PM)
Leah Dwornik said:
Hi Amelia, I am so sorry to hear about your father's diagnosis, I lost my uncle to ALS 12 years ago. Since that experience, my family has volunteered time and helped with an annual golf tournament held to raise money for ALS research, this year we raised $65k! I will pass your story along to our local ALS Center - and if you ever need someone to talk to who has experienced this, you've got a friend on the East Coast. I love your work - it looks like you really captured your pops, what a cool cat. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Leah
(01.02.09 08:42 PM)
Dawn Altier said:
I'm a bit of a late comer to this post, but wanted to express my prayerful support of your family. I'm sorry to hear about your dad's diagnosis, but crack a tearful smile because of the way he's handling it. May Heavenly Father bless you with all you are in need of at this time.
(01.05.09 10:17 PM)
bethelynkphotography said:
sending all of my prayers and positive thoughts to you and your family. the images and words you have shared are so beautiful and moving.
(01.07.09 09:37 AM)
florist Singapore said:
wow, the pictures inspired me to create the same kind of bond with my 3 boys
(10.02.09 08:20 PM)