PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local photographer is helping kids with cancer feel like superstars.
Costumes, cameras, flashing lights and laughter — what kid wouldn’t want to be treated like a superstar for a day?READ MORE: 40th Street Bridge Lane Restrictions Go Into Place This Week
For kids battling cancer, it’s a welcome diversion from sickness, hospitals and medical tests. Pittsburgh-based photographer Matt Meiers take photos of those kids and turns them into whatever or whoever they want to be. He’s taken photos of 103 kids across the nation so far.
“They don’t pay for the image, the photo session, the photographer, the editors. They volunteer their time. Right now, that’s the way it works and it’s pretty awesome.” Meiers told KDKA’s Kym Gable about So Many Angels, his nonprofit organization.
From caped crusaders to sports stars to pilots, princesses, nurses, doctors, and firefighters — kids can choose whoever they want to be as they pose for a very special session. Each family is gifted a canvas print that they can treasure forever.
“I want it to be the last thing they look at when they go to sleep and the first thing they look at in the morning,” said Meiers.
Of course, Meiers isn’t doing any large scale photoshoots now because of the pandemic, but KDKA’s Kym Gable visited with Meiers as he checked in with one of the kids he photographed in the past on Zoom.
Kyle Klerk chose a Jedi master for his persona, complete with a lightsaber and Star Wars-themed detailing.READ MORE: Dozens Of Women Gather On North Shore For 'Black Maternal Health Week' Photoshoot
“The Jedi in the Star Wars universe are people that fight for good. They inspire people. They defend people who can’t protect themselves and I feel like that’s a really good message to bring,” said Klerk, who hung his canvas right above his bed.
Klerk’s mother, Dee, says the experience is one she will cherish.
“Although they were cancer kids, it wasn’t all about cancer. And anytime you can do something and be together with people who understand you and it’s not all about cancer, you can forget that part of it, it’s a good day,” said Dee.
“We just want the kids to be kids. The kids have cancer, but that is not who they are,” Meirs said.
“I want people to feel as good as I feel when we give these families these canvas prints,” Meiers said.
A portion of sales from a 2021 calendar will help fund pediatric cancer research. For more information on So Many Angels, click here.MORE NEWS: Local Providers Committed To Distributing Johnson And Johnson Vaccine Despite Reports Of Shortages
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