brave will / by Ashley Brown

On February 6, 2009, "Brave Will" Hladun earned his wings, just a few days shy of his 7 month birthday. For almost his entire life, he fought the valiant fight against AT/RT, a rare pediatric cancer. Although brief, Will's life was one full of purpose and message. He and his wonderful family touched so many lives, and continue to do so. One year later, the Brave Will Foundation works to provide support for other families with terminally ill children, and support palliative care efforts at Albany Medical Center. A few days before Will passed away, I had the amazing privilege of photographing him, surrounded by dozens of family members, friends and staff at AMC. Despite on spending a few short hours in his world, Will had a profound affect on my life, and the lives of so many others. Who knew such a small person could put forth so much love, light and hope into this world?

I am writing this post not only in commemoration of Will's first anniversary of getting his wings, but also to tell you about the foundation's 1st annual gala.

Picture 1You can read all about the event and the foundation by visiting bravewill.org. If you can't attend, please consider donating toward their amazing cause, in honor of Will or the healthy children in your life.

Will, you continue to inspire me and so many others to be the best people we can. You are the true definition of a hero, little man!