Max Gerber‘s photographs and words appear in his book on children born with heart disease, My Heart vs. the Real World, which we profiled several months ago.
We just noticed on his blog a very touching testament to the power of Max’ images and words, which we’ve excerpted here:
I am a mom of a 7 year old boy, Theo, with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
I bought your book for us to look at and read, and I just feel compelled to write and tell you what a difference it is making in our lives.
Every night, we read books together. Theo picks one, and his little brother Tommy picks one. Every single night since we have owned your book, it is the one which Theo picks. The first night, he lay on his bed and looked through every single page. Now, he picks one chapter a night. We have read and reread the chapters. My kids know the names of every child in the book. Theo LOVES the pictures, and loves hearing about what older children do. He is absolutely enthralled. Admittedly, I pick and choose which text to read, since some of it is a little advanced for the little people.
However, last night I took the book into my room and read it after we had read the “Grant” chapter for the fifth time in a row. I read the whole thing, cover to cover, and ended up actually crying. With real tears. Going through all that we have been through I think that we sometimes become hardened, and it meant a great deal for me to feel that emotion. Not only sadness, but awe, and amazement, and beauty. It is an amazing book.
One thing which stood out to us was the child whose brother had Leukemia. Theo, in addition to having HLHS, had cancer when he was two. My children said, “look, his brother’s a baldie!” I told them that his brother had cancer, and Theo said, “wow, they have been through a lot just like us.” Not in a pitying way, but in an admirable, camaraderie-filled, way. You presented that so beautifully, and in such an understated-yet-powerful manner. Touching.
You did a wonderful job, and it is much appreciated. Just wanted to let you know.
Good work, Max. We’re very happy that your book has touched so many people.
Check out more of Max Gerber’s work on his website.