Meet Lidia – Founder and Executive Director
I once read a quote that said, “Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, and faithfulness the best relationship.” My personal journey mirrors this belief. In what was a difficult couple of years in my life soon became the footprint of what has become Oh So Posh Photography and Tiny Sparrow Foundation.
My journey began while pregnant with Isadora. During the first trimester of pregnancy, I was diagnosed with a rare intestine infection that left me hospitalized for two months. I thankfully recovered and three months later, gave birth to my beautiful daughter.
Isadora’s birth was a miraculous gift, but my sweet girl had her fair share of health troubles. Isadora was born with PHACES, which essentially meant that you could see her heart beating over the thin layer of skin that was covering what was supposed to be her sternum. She was just seven weeks old when she had to undergo extensive surgery and numerous tests. I spent countless nights in the hospital with Isadora and when not there, I was traveling all over the country in search of the best medical treatment for her.
Like so many parents I have come to meet through TSF, I was consumed with my daughter’s wellbeing. However, my energy and focus was soon directed on myself. At 31, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. During the gruesome months of chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries, I had the opportunity to reflect on my life in ways that I may not have otherwise. Strange as it may seem, cancer gave me a newfound courage and like so many who have experienced a health crisis, I developed a greater appreciation for my life as well as a new perspective.
During chemo and radiation, I would lay in my bed with a computer, a camera, and books on the art of photoshop. My desire to learn all that I could about the art of photography can only be described as an innate passion and newly found ambition for something greater than a hobby. Because of how this passion came about, photography has a deeply personal meaning. For musicians they express themselves in music and songwriting, a painter through color and poet through verses. Photography has allowed me to connect with difficult emotions that sometimes cannot be expressed otherwise and helped me handle some of the most traumatic and difficult times in my life. The only time I ever had to step away from photography was after the passing of my father. It was then that I stumbled upon Kate Mcrae’s blog that detailed the five year old child’s battle with brain cancer.
I flew from Texas to Arizona to meet Kate and her family and was able to spend a few days with the family. They allowed me to take photos of Kate that I soon after posted on my OSP blog. The response I received once I posted these pictures on my blog was overwhelming. I received numerous emails from photographers telling me how inspired they were, from parents telling me that because of those pictures they hug their children a bit tighter, and emails from complete strangers explaining that their perspective on life had changed. It was from this photo session with this fragile and beautiful young girl that Tiny Sparrow was born. In fact, our logo is Kate McCrae.
The experience that I had with the McCrae family inspired me to create Tiny Sparrow Foundation. I became inspired and determined to help families through photography who had young children battling critical illness. My ambition was to help families whose medical bills were overwhelming and may not otherwise be able to afford such treasures of art. I believe this form of photography is not only able to capture images of a strong and brave child, but also tell his/her story. A story of hope, courage, and inspiration.