Families using photography to ease pain of childhood cancer

It’s a beautiful spring weekend and the Dahmen house is bursting with silly, carefree memories. They’re the kind you’d want to capture forever in photographs. But if you zoom in a little, you’ll see this is far from a picture perfect day. Today the Dahmens are trying desperately to escape their reality and the life-changing news they’re about to receive. Jill Dahmen looks at her husband Kurt and says, “Well already just sitting here right now my stomach starts to turn.”

In a few days Jilly and Kurt Dahmen will find out if their 8-year-old son Griffin is cancer-free. A year long, aggressive chemo battle is officially over. Griffin’s body is now fighting on its own. Griffin’s father Kurt says, “The anxiety is almost worse now. You don’t have that safety net of being in the hospital room.”

In late 2014, out of the blue, Griffin experienced excruciating leg pain. Within weeks he was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a life-threatening, painful bone cancer. Try explaining that to an 8-year old. Jill says, “When you ask if he was present. He was definitely present. I remember conversations where he straight up just said, ‘what if I die’. You can’t say to your child, ‘you’re not gonna’ because he knows.’”

The Dahmens would spend most of 2015 here at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s hospital. Kurt says their days and nights were ruled by medication. “He had to get injections every day in his belly. He had to take this medicine on Mondays and Tuesdays which he could hardly keep down.”

Not to mention the poison, otherwise known as chemo, administered through a gaping hole in Griffin’s chest. Jill says,“We would literally have to hold the child down, Kurt on one side, I on the other my dad on his feet and he is going nuts. He’s terrified.”


2 Comments Add yours

  1. thesmilingpilgrim says:

    Wow incredibly powerful picture

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Truly amazing show of love during such a difficult time.


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