3 Years After This Photo, Childhood Cancer Survivors Reunite

3 Years After This Photo, Childhood Cancer Survivors Reunite

childhood cancer survivors
Scantling Photography
The reality of childhood cancer is painful, but we can't afford to turn away. That's why mom and photographer Lora Scantling brought three little girls battling cancer together for a portrait session back in 2014 -- to bring awareness to the disease. The stunning photo quickly went viral for its heartbreaking beauty, and now, three years later, a new photo series of the girls is doing the same for a wonderful reason: All the kids are now cancer-free!

The girls actually take a new photo every year, but each anniversary becomes more meaningful -- and the recent three-year photos are especially magical. 

"I have loved getting the girls together each year," Scantling told CafeMom. "They always have a blast when they're together and are always excited to see me too!"

"We love that the world still wants to see how the girls are doing and we are using that as a tool to help keep people talking about childhood cancer awareness," Scantling added. "It needs more attention!"

These breathtaking photos are sure to inspire people to get involved...



  • Comrades in Arms

    Scantling Photography

    Rylie Hughey, Rheann Franklin, and Ainsley Peters had never met before this original photo was taken (Scantling put out a call for subjects on Facebook), but they bonded quickly and have been friends ever since.

  • Face to Face

    Scantling Photography

    These little girls couldn't be more beautiful or brave. What an unforgettable image!

  • Three Years Later: Going for the Gold

    Scantling Photography

    For this 2017 photo, the girls held a gold ribbon "just to remind people that the reason we do these portraits every year is to help raise awareness about childhood cancer," Scantling said.

    Look at them shine!

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  • Striking a Pose

    Scantling Photography

    Ainsley looks strong, healthy and confident in this adorable shot. She's ready to take on the world!

  • In Bloom

    Scantling Photography

    As she's surrounded by flowers and frills, you'd never know all the struggles Rylie has been through. Her smile couldn't be sweeter!

  • Standing Tall

    Scantling Photography

    Now 9 years old, Rheann is cancer-free but still dealing with lifelong complications of chemo and radiation, including the inability to grow hair, low muscle tone, drooping eyelids, and problems with her kidneys. "Despite all that, she's an extremely happy little girl," Scantling says.

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  • Three of a Kind

    Scantling Photography

    These beautiful girls are clearly bonded for life -- and there should be plenty of photos to prove it. Scantling says she plans to keep up with the yearly photo sessions for as long as the girls want to do it.

  • Rainbow Connection

    Scantling Photography

    We couldn't love this colorful photo more! So lively and cheerful!

  • All That Glitters

    Scantling Photography

    Every single day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer (with the average age being 6 years). Over 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer in the US every year. It's time for a cure!

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  • Jumping for Joy

    Scantling Photography

    This gleeful photo was taken just three months after the girls got their original cancer-free diagnosis. You can feel the joy!

  • How Far They've Come

    Scantling Photography

    Two years after the first photo was taken, the girls posed with their portrait for this poignant update. What a difference!

  • Staying Strong

    Scantling Photography

    There's no question that these girls are fighters! The challenges they've overcome require a kind of strength many adults don't have. Truly inspiring.

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  • Make Some Noise

    Scantling Photography

    According to the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer, just 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute's $4.9 billion budget (as of 2014) went to childhood cancer research (even though cancer is the second leading cause of death in kids, following accidents). These kids are worth more than 4 percent!

  • Holding on to Hope

    Scantling Photography

    This sweet embrace happened one year after the first photo, which Scantling said she was inspired to take because her stepfather was losing his battle with lung cancer at the time, and because a friend had lost her son to cancer.

    "I wanted to do something that would make a difference," she said.

  • Getting Better

    Scantling Photography

    This heartbreakingly adorable photo of Ainsley during a routine chemo session in 2014 is a reminder of what childhood cancer is really all about -- and why we need to do everything we can to prevent more kids from getting sick! You can head over to the American Cancer Organization to find out more about Going Gold for Kids With Cancer!

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