Team Dane

My friend, Celia, has been a part of my life for longer than I can remember.

We’ve come a long way from the photo taken at my second birthday, below.


Do I remember Celia eagerly watching over my shoulder as I prepared to blow out the candles sitting atop my custom Big Bird cake? Absolutely not. My memory doesn’t stretch back that far. Good thing I have pictures to prove it. Now—fast forward 28 years later—meet Celia and Jeremy’s beautiful newborn son, Dane.


Handsome, huh? Not only is Dane precious, but he is the definition of a fighter.  I remember when Celia first told me about his heart condition, HLHS.  It was during one of our first days in Vegas, a trip that had been planned a good while before she found out she was pregnant. Being the trooper she is, Celia didn’t hesitate to take her glowing pregnant self to sin city with the girls. Her calm demeanor while she described to me the details of HLHS momentarily distracted me from the severity of the disease. And to see the strength she has exuded over these past few months makes me not only proud of the woman she has become, but honored to be able to call her my friend. Coupled with the love and courage of her partner, Jeremy, Dane is a lucky lucky boy.

I cannot do justice to the power Jeremy has with words, as evident in his and Celia’s online journal describing their and Dane’s journey. He makes you feel as if you are right next to him and Celia, pulling you along every step of the way. I highly recommend you take a moment to read thru what Jeremy and Celia shared.

I was honored to snap photos of this little fighter. I hope I was able to capture his unique spirit, as well as the deep love his parents so obviously have for their new son.






I loved seeing the joy and pride in Celia’s eyes as she held Dane. Again, her incredible calm demeanor throughout this whole journey is nothing short of inspiring.


This photo is my favorite shot from that day—a perfect glimpse into the mother-son bond that has already so strongly formed.


Dane fell asleep in Celia’s arms. He was either having a funny dream or had gas.






While I was shooting pics of Celia and Dane, Jeremy busied himself making the bed for the next set of photos.


I will not insert the joke Jeremy said to Dane as he sat him down on the bed. I’ll let you use your imagination based on Dane’s reaction below.







Nana and Peepaw joined our photo shoot an hour or so later. Patti and my mom were pregnant at the same time with Celia and me, so I’ve known her and her husband, Jeff, for as long as I have Celia. It felt so great to be able to snap some of the first photos of the two with their new grandson.








Before I left, I made sure to get in some quality cuddle time.


Again, to hear more about Dane’s incredible journey into this world, please visit Jeremy and Celia’s online journal here.


– kristen


1 Comment

  1. Julia Archer says:

    I LOVE the pictures. I think you definitely captured his sweet little spirit and his family’s absolute love for him.

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