I stumbled across Mitchell’s Journey by “accident.” Still not sure how I got there. But one of the very first Facebook posts I read was this:
“THE TRUE VALUE OF A MOMENT…
With all that has happened I am grateful that I have always been liberal in taking photos; because seemingly ordinary moments way back when are priceless today. Without apology or a moment’s thought I captured everything: the boredom, the laughter, the tears, the drama and on few occasions extreme hardships. So, as I have been working through this sacred vault of family photos the saying “sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory” has been playing over and over in my mind. And with each photo-set I poured over that saying was reinforced. I never delete the blurry or over/under-exposed photos, either. I’ve noticed, as time passes, that I begin to see magic where I once saw mistakes….So, my advice to everyone and anyone I know is to take photos. Take them like a paparazzi. In sickness and in health, in happiness or sorrow…photographs fuel memory….and memory fuels the heart and soul…
…there are no ordinary moments. Not one. I am so grateful for happy memories. And because we have photos of these moments…lots of them…our joys and memories are all the richer.”
I knew after reading that, that this would be a journey I would follow. A message I believe in with my WHOLE HEART. There are no ordinary moments. “Photographs fuel memory. And memory fuels the heart and soul.” The EVERY DAY moments that make up the stories of our lives.
Mitchell Jones was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a muscle wasting disease which results in progressive muscle deterioration and is fatal by late teens/early twenties. By the age of 10, Mitchell’s heart function had deteriorated faster than expected and in less than a year he passed away from acute heart failure in March of 2013.
His dad, Chris Jones, started a Facebook page to chronicle his sons journey but it has become so much more than that. It is a place of inspiration, hope, and LOVE. Instead of being bitter and angry, Mitchell’s dad is sharing his grief, and healing hearts all over the world.
Last Saturday I was able to photograph a charity 5K put together by Mitchell’s family (and lots of volunteers) to raise money and awareness for this horrible disease.
I’ve been to a lot of races. And though I always tear-up at the start of every race (something about that race spirit), I will never forget this one. A brave little boy who made the most of a life he didn’t choose. And a family that chooses to share their grief with the world to spread hope and healing to a world desperately in need of both.
Here are some photos of the race. And there’s a little video at the end for those who dig those kind of things (you know, the kind of things that make you cry).
You can also catch an interview Chris did about the importance of taking every day photos HERE.
Miles for Mitchell. “Because his broken heart touched mine.”