Sweet Nectar Society >> non-profit organization >> bio picture
  • Our Sweet Cause

    Sweet Nectar Society is an organization that brings together a network of professional photographers to capture the hope, courage, and strength of children undergoing treatment for serious illnesses, disabilities and injuries.

    A professional photography session is given to capture the beautiful spirit of each child. The gift of a bound coffee table book as well as the images from the session are presented to each family to ensure these precious memories are forever cherished. Each child's story is featured on our website to inspire viewers with the remarkable hope, courage, and strength shown by our "sweeties".

    The Sweet Nectar Society team has become a voice for childhood illness and disability by joining forces with other charitable organizations to raise awareness and encourage other to make a difference.

Sophia : Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Being told “your child has leukemia” is something no parent is ever prepared for. In November 2011 Sophia went from being an energetic little girl to being sick all of the time. After visiting the doctor for what was thought to be a cold, Sophia’s parents were shocked when doctors broke the news that their daughter had acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Sophia is currently in remission and undergoing maintenance chemotherapy. Her family is thankful for the support from family, their church and for the miracle of modern medicine.

 

 

Photography by: Erin Pasillas Photography
M
usic Licensed by Song Freedom Happy as the Sun – Tyrone Wells

Carma : Astrocytoma (Brain Tumor)

Carma was diagnosed with Astrocytoma in 2012 after many doctors visits and tests to find out what was going on with her little body. She has had to visit both CHCC and CHLA to coordinate with doctors the best treatment options for her care. She has lots of love and support at home with her big sister and two parents who all adore her.

To find out more about Astrocytoma click HERE

Photography by: Carrie Anne Miranda Photography
Music licensed by Song Freedom

Hunter : Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Hunter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in February 2013.  He is currently undergoing weekly treatments.

“What is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia” Information from The American Cancer Society:

Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), also called acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is a cancer that starts from white blood cells called lymphocytes in the bone marrow (the soft inner part of the bones, where new blood cells are made).

Leukemia cells usually invade the blood fairly quickly. They can then spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and testicles (in males). Other types of cancer also can start in these organs and then spread to the bone marrow, but these cancers are not leukemia.

The term “acute” means that the leukemia can progress quickly, and if not treated, would probably be fatal within a few months. Lymphocytic means it develops from early (immature) forms of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. This is different from acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which develops in other blood cell types found in the bone marrow.

 


Photography by Brittany Wilbur
Music Licensed by SongFreedom | “This Kind Of Love” by Sister Hazel

 

Andrew : Hirschsprung’s Disease

Andrew’s Story shared by his mom:

Andrew was born 12-21-2007 in Seattle Washington and immediately rushed to Seattle Children’s Hospital NICU where they confirmed Hirschsprung’s Disease (complicated to explain, googling it would be best, but it’s where the colon doesn’t develop right and he had to have 8″ removed for him to be able to stool ‘normally’.) He had his first surgery at 8 days old, and soon after started stooling normally. After he stabilized and stopped getting repeated intestinal infections, we were discharged (after almost a month and a half in the hospital) and for 10 months everything was great in terms of his heath.

At 10 months old up through last October, he started getting more and more infections (enterocolitis and cdiff), each time damaging his colon and slowing down his already slow motility. By last October we knew something was very wrong again, he was pooping 1/2″ ribbons instead of normal stools, and they were literally burning the skin off of his bottom and were NOT normal in appearance. Life was miserable while we ran test after test, tried cream after cream, and did everything we could to try to help him and keep him comfortable. It started to take 2 people to change his diaper (his issues make it impossible to toilet train him), one to pin him down and one to clean and change.

In December of last year Andrew got the flu, and with his system already moving things through so slowly, it led to a bacterial overgrowth in his small intestine, which produced so much gas his colon blew up like a balloon. By March we finally pinned down the diagnosis, but by then he had to have a cecostomy button placed so we could flush out his colon from top to bottom and basically force him to empty, as he’d lost all ability to stool or even pass gas on his own. The button was too late to help at first, as having the bacterial overgrowth go untreated for so long his colon was too weak to pass even saline down and out to clean him. Although we’d already had 5 hospitalizations by then alone trying to help him, we still ended up spending all of April out at Stanford, because by that point he was literally being starved to death, we just couldn’t get rid of the bacteria that was stealing all of his oral nutrition and in turn producing gas that was weakening his colon further (because with his tightening sphincter he couldn’t toot the gas out), and further diminishing his appetite. You could see every bone in his body, he was smaller than my 2 year old, yet his belly was gargantuan. However by the end of April we had his cecostomy flushes working, his sphincter relaxed with the help of botox (allowing the flushes to come through instead of holding them  back) and after some hard core nutritional therapy he was stable enough to go home, but has been on a feeding tube ever since, as he still just won’t eat enough on his own. He’s at a good weight now but every time we do a test to see if he can graduate from needing the nighttime feeds, he stalls and loses weight again, though more slowly each time so eventually he shouldn’t need the feeding tube anymore.

Our joy at being released after a month and thinking with his flushes working that we were home free was short lived, as within a month we were fighting that bacteria AGAIN. By this time we got the name of a fantastic local surgeon, Dr. Allshouse, up at Valley Children’s, and Allshouse specializes in kids like Andrew who have numerous bowl problems.

He has been amazing and Andrew’s been steadily improving ever since, though despite Allshouse’s best efforts Andrew has been hospitalized every other month since for varying reasons, had several more surgeries, now has a gastrostomy button as well (we call him the bionic boy lovingly, and he thinks it’s an awesome nickname!)

Andrew also has a condition called neurogenic bladder. It takes many forms, and while most it means an overactive bladder, for Andrew it means that he can’t feel the growing need to ‘go’. This, combined with the many many necessary uses of strong pain meds that have the unfortunate side effect of inhibiting his ability to fully empty his bladder, means he now has a bladder that reaches up above his belly button, several times the normal size. Although he will eventually grow into the size of his bladder (roughly adult size), he will never regain the ability to feel the need to go until he is already dangerously full, which presents a reasonable risk of rupture if he were to bump into something or fall.

Photography by Brittany Wilbur

Music licensed by SongFreedom | “Simple Life” performed by Tyrone Wells courtesy of Position Music

Mia : Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis

During the summer of 2012, after spending weeks in Children’s Hospital Central California due to unexplained high fevers, Mia’s blood levels dropped, her body went into shock and she had a major seizure that put her into a coma.  Mia was then diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). After being in a coma for two weeks she slowly woke up.  It was a very long recovery for Mia.  Mia’s family was told their little girl would never walk or talk again.  Mia underwent months of chemo and recently had her medaport removed.
Mia overcame these obstacles and is currently thriving- against all odds Mia is walking, running, talking and starting 1st grade.  Mia’s parents and little bro Noah are such amazing people who have encouraged and loved miss Mia every step of the way.  We absolutely love this SWEET family and are so thankful to have been given the opportunity to spend time with them.

Photography by Brittany Wilbur
Music licensed by SongFreedom |  Shirock,  I’ll Take Rain

D O N A T E
C O N N E C T
C O L O R   O F   L I F E