There is no way I can talk about Patsy without becoming emotional. My first encounter with her exuberant personality was over the telephone and I will never forget hanging up the call, turning to Khaled and saying, “Wow! I can’t wait to meet her in person and document her special day.” A few days later, we met for lunch and realized we had much more in common than we could ever imagine- I could have sat there chatting with Patsy for hours! I left that day with a huge smile on my face. She has that effect on people. When weeks went by without hearing back from her, I knew something was not quite right.
Two months later, I had just finished dinner with my family when her email came in. “…Days after our meeting, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.” I must admit that tears streamed down my face as I reread her words a few more times. I can’t explain why, but her words shook my world and made me realize just how delicate our lives truly are. Since our first meeting, Patsy had had surgery and was recovering well. She had also married her fiancé, Alex, at a Starbucks! Yes, this special woman’s life is full of adventures. Although the wedding party would have to be postponed to a later date, she wanted a few romantic and intimate photos on the beach before her chemo treatments began.
A blog post is not enough space to share how much of an inspiration Patsy is, not only to those close to her, but her community, and anyone that has an opportunity to cross her path. Meeting Alex, documenting their romance, and spending time with both of them on the streets of Ybor city and the sands of St. Pete beach was unforgettable.
Since that beautiful day, I look forward to reading Patsy’s inspiring words about her journey and cancer story daily. She has such a contagious love of life and courageous heart. I’m thankful that our paths crossed and can’t wait to document more special moments in the future for Patsy, Alex, and their beautiful families.