Haley Strong

Haley, a nine year spunky girl, with a smile that could light up the sky, is the true definition of a strong little fighter.  This past September, Haley was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, causing life as her sweet family knew it to change dramatically. She has been traveling back and forth for several treatments at the University of Iowa Childrens Hospital ever since last fall.  If you have followed her journey you can see the impact this little girl has on everyone she meets.  In fact, that is how their entire family is.  They have this special gift of leaving a mark on your heart.  I went to high school with Erin (we graduated just a few years ago by the way, lol) and I am just so proud of the beautiful family her and Nate are raising.  We have made so many wonderful friends from the Mepo area through the years, photographing various weddings and families and many of them hold a very special place in my heart.  The Schnedler family is certainly one of them.

Many others I know feel the same way about this amazing family.  The community has come together to help support and show their love for them in so many ways and it’s the same kind of love that Nate and Erin share with others around them.  It is what they do, and it is amazing to witness the kind of generosity and love the entire community has for one another in times of both happiness and tragedy.

A few weeks ago, a charitable organization contacted us to see if we would be interested in photographing their family to help market their charity and to share their story.  We thought this was amazing and just another way God works through his plans.  Compass to Care is a non profit organization whose sole purpose is to help ensure that all children can access life-saving cancer treatment by helping them travel from their homes to the hospital.  I think it is amazing that so many people in the world still care so much and just want to help make a difference in each other.  I can only imagine the stress this sweet family has been battling and I’m so incredibly thankful for the community that surrounds them as well as around the children’s hospital in Iowa City.  It is just a sign that even in the midst of a storm, God never leaves us.  If we just continue to pray and look up to Him always, even when we are surrounded by darkness, He will be be there right by our side.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” -Deuteronomy 31:8

“So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ my dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:13-19

You can check out this charitable organization for more information and to help others in need by clicking here at Compass to Care. We cannot imagine what you are going through, Nate and Erin, but I hope you know that you are not alone and all of us in the community that know and love you are here.  Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers always. Keep up the wonderful fight, sweet Haley!  We are so proud of you and are beside you all the way cheering you on!

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