More than two years, in late 2016, a band of four little girls comforted each other regularly at John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. At school or in their neighborhood, they felt different and found it hard to relate to the other kids. But at the hospital, they felt right at home with the other kids. And pretty soon, McKinley, Chloe, Ava, and Lauren developed a unique friendship with each other.
In 2016, when the girls were two to three years old and recently diagnosed, they discovered each other for the first time at the treatment rooms in John Hopkins. They discovered each other, not because of why they’re there, but because they all had the same hair loss. Shawna Glynn, Lauren’s mom told Fox News, “She’s 3-years-old and doesn’t have any hair, but all of her friends in the hospital look the same way so it kind of gave her some normalcy.”
When they posed for their first photo together, they were all wearing matching gold headbands on their heads, different shirts, and pink tutus. Now, two years later, they posed together, with the same headbands on their heads with long flowing hair, shirts with the word Survivor in front, and gold tutus. They kept playing, hugging, jumping, and just having fun with each other as if it were just yesterday.
And it wasn’t just a friendship between McKinley, Chloe, Ava, and Lauren that were formed. Even their mothers formed a friendship with each other. “Just having other moms to relate to has been phenomenal. Just to have other people going through it at the same time as us,” Karen Moore, Mckinley’s mom explained. It’s great to know that these eight people, four moms and four kids, have found each and has become each other’s support group.
Even the staff of John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida look forward to the arrival of the girls every year for their annual reunion and photos. Paige Ward, one of the nurses says, “Makes me wanna cry. I love these kids as if they were my own, for sure. They’re awesome.”
And this reunion, they’ve got great news. All kids have now completed their treatments, with Lauren being the last one to complete her treatment the Monday before the shoot. Lauren will start a new chapter in her life when she enters Kindergarten the Monday after this reunion. They’ll be back again next year for another photo and another reunion.
Celebrate the lives of these adorable little girls with this sweet reunion.