Capturing the Best in Ourselves

Christmas in June - Missy's Story

Here is our first entry for our Christmas in June charity event.  If you want Dusty to win, please comment below to "vote" (one vote per person).  Tell all of your friends and family to come and vote too.  Good luck!!!!!


Dear Susan,
I am writing to enter one of my lifelong friends into your Christmas in June photo session giveaway!  Her story and experience speaks for itself in terms of why she is so very deserving of this special opportunity for a family photo shoot!  Her name is Dusty Rainey Swartzel, and her journey has been one of faith, hope, and lots of love!  Dusty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 at the age of 31.  With a husband and two small children in tow, she began her journey of surgeries, treatments, and lots of prayers. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction, and chemotherapy as part of her treatment regimen.  Though the treatments could be tiring and draining, she perservered and continued to take care of her family, work (she is a school teacher), and serve her church in a very active way.  Through all of these trying times, she turned her eye toward the Lord, remained focus on His plan, and found goodness and mercy even in the toughest of times.  Her faith throughout the entire time from diagnosis until now has been unwaivering!  She has been an amazing example in her walk with God throughout this entire experience.As her plan for treatment continued, Dusty had to have a complete hysterectomy, treatments to strengthen her bones, as she later found out her cancer had spread to her bones in several places.  She continue to remain positive, prayerful, and diligent in caring for her children, her husband, and continuing in her daily walk in life.  She RARELY missed work, church, birthday parties, special events, or any family outing during the entire time she been going through the treatments!  She was always right their in the moment in her roles as wife and mother!  Dusty is the ultimate example of strength, optimism, and love.  Though she has had ever right to feel angry, bitter, or negative, you never see that from her!

She uses her story to share the opportunity of knowing hope as only you can have when it is from God!  Dusty has been the ultimate example of faith in the face of adversity through this experience, and she has been a light to so many family and friends as we have seen her faith grow only deeper and deeper, her love for others abound, and her focus on what really matters grow even stronger!

Currently, Dusty is traveling back and forth to a new oncologist in Chicago, and her cancer has spread more so in her bones and liver.  She is working with treatment options, continuing to care for her family, and her outlook and attitude is, of course, as wonderful as ever!  Dusty's husband, Tre', accompanies her to Chicago for her tests, treatments, and care.  Her children, JP (7) and Charley (5), are enjoying every moment as summertime is now upon us, and they are just precious children!  They are her life!
I cannot think of a better way for her to have a special moment to share with her family, particularly her children, than to have this love captured on camera in one of your wonderful photo sessions!  Photographs certainly help create and capture special moments that make memories last a lifetime!  Please consider her story, her life, and her legacy as you choose a special family to photograph!
My kindest regards,
Missy Shaver Camak
Here is a picture of Dusty and her family at this year's Breast Cancer 5K in Greenville.