June 26, 2013


Actually, this special Post is not about Louie – it’s about Sadi and Emme. But it’s also about a bird named Louie and his incredible power to heal a hurting heart.

You see, Emme was diagnosed late last year with the rarest form of Childhood Arthritis, called Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). She has endured painful treatments and a regimen of medications that are too numerous for anyone, much less that of a five year old little sunshine of a child.

Emme is beautiful – and I have had the pleasure of photographing since she was six months old:


At two we hauled a huge bed into a field and she had fun jumping to her heart’s content:



At three we did our Session in downtown Atlanta among some really cool old train tracks:






Throughout last year, it became increasingly evident that something was wrong. She was in pain more and more often, gradually getting to the point where it was too painful for her to walk, or even simply hold an eating utensil to feed herself. It took many series of testing to determine her condition, and then the painful daily injections began.

Which brings me to Louie.

Emme and her sister Sadi loved to visit the local Petstore any chance they could. They are both animal lovers, and Emme found a strong connection to a quirky little bird she named Louie. Louie has been the healer of her heart, while the injections and endless medications have begun to heal her little body. I have never seen anything like it. Louie is the most patient and loving little creature I have perhaps ever met. He goes everywhere with Emme, and he’s so comfortable perching on her shoulder, her head, hanging on to her shirt, her shoes. He just hangs on while Emme runs and plays, just happy to be along for the ride.


You can’t love a sister as much as Sadi does and not feel her pain. Sadi wonders, even at the tender age of six, why she is healthy while Emme has to struggle with pain every day. Larry has been her heart-healer.


Emme’s beautiful family paricipated in the Atlanta Arthritis Walk in May, and will be participating in the Louisville Arthritis Walk in September, when they will be setting up a donation site for little Emme. All money raised will go to the Arthritis Foundation, which develops treatments for children like Emme so that they can run and play, and enjoy life and their childhood the way everyone should. It’s already made a world of difference to Emme. I will do another posting once that is established, so that if you would like to make a donation, you can do so and make sweet Emme the honoree.

Leave a Reply