Heís not too friendly, not too reticent, not
too anything. Michael
Price, 44, is just a man who usually photographs stodgy CEOs
and image conscious models. But now, he begins his wait. For
the right look, the right moment.
And Michael Price
started taking pictures.
each is done, when he has caught them at that moment that is
so special, so beautiful, so alive with hope, Price frames
the black & white photograph and hangs it
in the hallway at the foundationís West Palm Beach office.
it arrives, as it always does, he clicks and flashes and clicks some
more. And then he has it. One more beautiful face for the wall.
ďYouíd never know by
looking at them that they were sick,Ē he says.
But they are. Thatís the rub, thatís the injustice,
thatís the reason Price has done what heís done. These are
children with cancer. Children who know about needles and operations
and vomiting and bald heads. Kids who know things no child should ever
have to know. Not ever.
Forty-eight so far.
The first was a kid named Michael Hanna, a boy so brave and
happy that he took Priceís heart and squeezed, hard. Young Michael
sat in a winged-back chair for his photo and wore two things he never
left home without: His smile and his cowboy boots.
Price takes the photos after chemotherapy, before they
go to Gainesville or Miami for The Big Operation, whenever he can. He
strolls into homes where emotion
on what could be lifeís last limb, and he
sick, frightened childís soul. A lot of times
itís in their eyes.
Priceís project started about three years ago when he
was taking pictures at a local hospital for some bureaucratic
brochure. Something struck him.
Why are all these sick kids so happy? And he
began his mission.
After much red tape, he found Teri Moran, executive
director of the Connor Moran Childrenís Cancer Foundation, a
group of funny, vibrant, grieving people (funny-grieving...
cancer is full of oxymoron's) who
help families when a child gets cancer.
Price said he took these pictures so other kids
with cancer will see that life does go on. Children with
cancer still swing and swim and dance and play the trumpet.
Kids with cancer still laugh.
Kids with cancer are still kids.
Just ask Michael