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For Immediate Release

Families of Young Cancer Patients Get “Flashes of Hope” From New Photography Program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

National program opens chapter in Pittsburgh to provide families with lasting memories

Flashes of Hope, a national nonprofit organization that provides portraits of children with cancer or other life-limiting illnesses to their families, has opened a chapter at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

The chapter will organize monthly photo sessions at Children’s Hospital, including one from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Thursday, July 17, 2008.

Flashes of Hope arranges for professional photographers to take portraits of patients from newborns to college age. Volunteer makeup artists and stylists get the children and adults ready for close-ups. The photographers donate their work.

Carla Mooney of Gibsonia started the chapter at Children’s, where her son, Daniel, 3, is in treatment for cancer. He was diagnosed in October 2006 and was being treated at a hospital in another city where the family lived before moving to Pittsburgh.

“That hospital had Flashes of Hope, and we got to see so many families who had benefited from the program,” Carla Mooney said. “When we moved to Pittsburgh, I did some research on how to start a chapter here. It’s such a wonderful thing to be able to offer families these beautiful portraits of their children.”

Flashes of Hope was started in Cleveland in 2001 by Allison Clarke and her husband, Kip, during their son’s successful treatment for cancer. Now Flashes of Hope has 25 chapters around the country. Each child is photographed individually and with his or her closest supporters. Every family is presented with framed enlargements, proofs and a CD of all of the images. To date, Flashes of Hope has photographed more than 2,500 children throughout the country.

At Children’s Hospital, the sessions are organized by Laura McCullough, Nikki Mulholland and Michael Shulock, Child Life specialists who work with oncology patients. A conference room is turned into a temporary photography studio, and the trio identify cancer patients who are either admitted to the hospital or coming to clinic for appointments.

“This program fits perfectly with Children’s philosophy of providing family-centered care, meaning the entire family is our ‘patient.’ The kids have fun at these photo sessions, and it gives families something to look back on to remember the courage of their children,” Shulock said.


Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016,
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016,

Last Update
July 16, 2008
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Last Update
July 16, 2008