Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lela's Story {A St. Jude Fundraiser}

Some of you reading will remember back in 2012 when I first shared about our friends, the Moody Family, when their daughter was first diagnosed with retinoblastoma, cancer of the eye. A few links below share some of their story. 

Matt has also photographed their family along the way mostly throughout Lela's first year of life. You can see those posts here at his photography blog, Photography By Matthew Morgan.

Since Lela's original diagnosis, the family has been through a great deal. I'm happy to say that Lela is doing great right now! St. Jude has played a HUGE part in that for the Moody Family.

I wanted Mandy, Lela's mom, to share their story before I shared the rest of the post.

On April 5, 2012, Mandy Moody noticed an unusual glow in her 6 week old daughter Lela's eye. After a battery of tests with a pediatric opthalmologist and retina specialist, Lela was preliminarily diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare malignant form of eye cancer. They were quickly referred to St. Jude Children Research Hospital and Dr. Wilson.
St. Jude treated this family with incredible care and understanding during this difficult time. The people of St. Jude took care of all of their travel arrangements and were understanding of the special needs of treating a patient this young. Lela's family was always met with friendly faces and caring questions, and every move St. Jude made worked for Lela's best interests.
Lela's diagnosis was confirmed, and the team of Dr. Wilson and Dr. Brennan quickly moved to remove the eye. The doctors found tumors in Lela's eyes last fall, but these were treated locally with cryotherapy and laser therapy. She returns every six weeks for exams under aneshesia to monitor her right eye and every six months for and MRI.  

Mandy and Jeff, Lela's parents are running in the St. Jude races in early December to raise money for St. Jude because they want to give back just a small portion of what has been given to them. 

Mandy also said this: 

St. Jude covers 100% of the expenses not covered by insurance, including the cost of her prosthetic eye now and as she gets older.Sadly, the story of childhood cancer continues. As Lela gets older, she meets younger children diagnosed with cancer each time she visits St. Jude. Thankfully, these children are treated with the same care as Lela at no cost to their families. 
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has been a tremendous blessing to this family. They provide world class care at no cost to their patients. Cancer and other childhood diseases do not discriminate, and St. Jude treats all people, no matter their backround or financial status.
Thank you for your support!
It costs $1.8 million a day to operate St. Jude. Did you know that 70% of the funds come from the public? That means your donation, no matter what the size, will help! We need your support to help us reach our fundraising goal for the kids of St. Jude.
How your donation helps:
  • Thanks to donors like you, no family ever pays St. Jude for anything, including lodging, food and travel.
  • St. Jude will continue to improve treatment of childhood cancer and other deadly diseases through its groundbreaking research.
  • For every child treated at St. Jude, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries. 

Matt had hoped to run in a race last year but Mason was due just 2.5 short weeks before so we knew it wasn't feasible and this year due to circumstances, we can't be physically there again. However, we can do something about it!

Matt has had a small photography business on the side for about 3 years. He does excellent work. Because of his full time job and his commitment to our family, he doesn't do a lot of photoshoots but it is his desire and passion to give families excellent pictures that they will remember for a lifetime. He also doesn't want those pictures to have to come at a huge expense to each family. Because of that, he makes his shoots affordable and enjoyable for all families. I love his passion!!

This year from now until July 31st, Matt is booking photoshoots for YOU! Here are the details:

--$50 photoshoots for whole families, children only, or couples only; (please contact us if you want another type of shoot as the price will vary slightly)

--$25 of each photoshoot will go directly to St. Jude to support Team Live.Love.Lela

--Shoots will be held in one of three locations: Hatcher Garden, our backyard, or Middle Tyger River Park

--Each shoot will come with a copyright release and a CD of 15-20 edited pictures (typically completed and mailed/hand delivered to you within 10-14 days)

--During the shoot, we will ask each family to take at least one picture that includes the St. Jude logo and a picture of Lela so that Lela and her family can know those who are supporting them.

**Included throughout this post are candid shots Matt took of Lela on her 2nd birthday.**

Contact Matthew today to schedule you photo session! 

By Phone: 334-590-5722
Via e-mail:
You can also call/text me: 985-517-1319
Or e-mail me:

Thank you for your support of St. Jude!

P.S. Also keep in mind that we are able to travel a little bit. Throughout the summer, we are making trips to Nashville, Montgomery, and the PA/NJ area. If any of our family in those areas is interested in a photo session to help support St. Jude, let us know and we can try to work out a time when we will be in the area. :)


  1. What a precious little girl and an amazing story! Wish we were closer, we would certainly love to have family pictures done to support this cause!

    1. For some reason, I keep trying to reply to you and I'm not sure it's going through because it won't show up on the post! :( If you want to meet halfway one day for some pictures, let me know and maybe we can work something out!