Celebrating Parents and Siblings of Seriously Ill Children

I have worked with Courageous Parents Network (CPN) for several years now and I have to say, it’s the most emotionally satisfying work I have ever done.

Blyth Lord lost her daughter Cameron to Tay Sachs, a fatal, degenerative childhood disease in 2001. Cameron was just two years old. Devastated – but inspired – by the loss, Blyth and her husband created a research fund for Tay Sachs soon thereafter. But for Blyth, research was not enough. She knew from her own experience as an aggrieved parent that more was needed to support the families that life-limiting pediatric illnesses left behind. Hospitals and doctors could do their part but even they often needed support and information, just like those they were serving. From tragedy and compassion, Courageous Parents Network (CPN) was born.

CPN provides the social and psychological guidance families often need when they are faced with the loss of a young child through illness. Through an appealing and interactive website, CPN reaches out to parents – and providers – with information, advice and connection, no matter where they may be located, all day, every day. One of the site’s main offerings: a series of Hindsight Media-produced video clips, profiling a range of parents and families who share the ups and downs they have known as they navigate this almost impossibly painful journey to the inevitable death of their child. The tone is universally searing, and the emotions, honest, unfiltered and aching to behold.

Even though I was on hand to shoot these interviews, and have looked at them over and over during and after the editing process, I still choke up every time I watch them. They capture the full power of what we mean by “family” – and love.

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