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The Cancerversary | Marti is Still Unstoppable

Cancerversary: The day that your life as you knew it ends, and a new life begins…with cancer.

Today is Marti’s  2nd Cancerversary. We’re not celebrating cancer, we’re celebrating life and living it out loud!

We’re celebrating her courage to continue fighting daily even when it gets really hard.
We’re celebrating having supportive friends and family.
We’re celebrating simple things that we may have taken for granted B.C. (before cancer)
We’re celebrating waking up this morning.

A few months after diagnosis when she started to feel better, Marti insisted on hanging out with her friends and doing “normal” stuff no matter how treatment made her feel. I met her and her friend at the beach. As I approached them, I could hear them giggling and plotting their shenanigans, just as they did B.C. I stopped, closed my eyes and listened to their giggles and the sound of the ocean. In that moment, I thought “My girl is unstoppable.”

Two years later, she’s still…

Marti Davis Unstoppable



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Baby Colt | Rancho Santa Margarita Photographer

Say “hello” to little Colt! He’s such a sweet baby and I just loved his red hair and beautiful blue eyes.

Congratulations Amanda and Scott. Thank you for allowing me the honor of photographing your baby boy.

I look forward to seeing him grow!



Mobile visitors, please view here

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A Year With Cancer, A Whole Life Ahead

A year ago today, my daughter Marti’s life changed forever.

Photograph by Clay Blackmore

Marti had spent the previous few months in Memphis with our Aunt Sandra in her last weeks battling breast cancer.  We thought the lingering fatigue and decreased appetite was due to the physical demands of her helping to care for our Aunt, her subsequent funeral and grief, two cross-country flights within 10 days, and the demands of college and working part-time.  Then the bruises started showing up on her legs and arms that would not go away.  When they became painful and swollen, I insisted that she see our doctor.

Marti and her nurse, Kristina. She kicked cancer’s butt, too, YEAH!

The doctor called on Sunday evening, March 11th, saying she was very concerned with the results of a recent blood test and that Marti needed to get to the Emergency Room right away where doctors would be waiting for her.  She was 21.  I can’t describe the look on the nurse’s face when she came into the exam room.  She looked like she had just seen death and was trying to hold her composure as she said to us, “The test results are back, this is leukemia, we’ll need to transport you to the main hospital for a bone marrow biopsy to confirm the type of cancer and start treatment.  Most likely it’s Acute.”  Then she left.


Um…Excuse me, say whaa???

The day of Diagnosis. 

On March 14th, the results of the Bone Marrow Biopsy confirmed a rare and incurable blood cancer called Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML).  After 5 days at Hoag Hospital, numerous tests and lots of meetings with various members of the medical staff, we went home, still in disbelief.

In the last year, we’ve grown so much, both individually and together as a mother and daughter. After failing the first type of chemo, Marti is responding to the latest one.  The side effects are being managed as best as we can and we’re adjusting to life as it comes, one day at a time.


Photograph by Clay Blackmore

One day at a time…
We’ve learned not to plan too far ahead.
We’ve learned to be in the moment.
We’ve seen friends leave and new ones come into our lives.
We’ve made each other laugh with silly sarcastic cancer jokes when we really wanted to cry.

Photograph by Clay Blackmore

We’re learning not to sweat the small stuff.
We’re learning to be better human beings.

We are grateful.

To learn more about CML, visit the American Cancer Society here.

To learn more about how you can help other Young Adults fighting Cancer, please visit www.StupidCancer.org

To learn more about Marti’s fight and/or make a donation to her medical fund, please visit her page at YouCaring.com or join The Marti Party here on Facebook.


Jada - March 14, 2013 - 2:58 PM

I read this and look at these pictures and see so much hope and amazing strength being shared. Thank you.

Tamara - March 14, 2013 - 3:00 PM

Thank YOU, Jada. We are so thankful for your support.

Awanda - March 14, 2013 - 4:39 PM

Beautiful, and may God continue to bless you. I am adding you to my weekly prayer list.

Tamara - March 14, 2013 - 4:44 PM

Thank you Awanda. We appreciate your support and hope this encourages someone who needs it the way others have encouraged us.

[...] a rare incurable form of cancer.  She was 21 years of ago when they found it.  Although I know Marti’s story, I cried like a baby when I read the [...]

Donna Watson - March 30, 2013 - 12:46 AM

I love the photos of you two. Praying that a cure will Be found for Marti. I’m So glad to see you two grow closer and grow together. I love you both.

Tamara Boykin Young - April 21, 2013 - 10:18 PM

You and your daughter's remarkably transparent story of grace, faith and unity — is beautiful and surreal.You inspire us all. May God continue to bless you richly. Love and light, From your new friend, Tamara Young

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Share the Love and Raise Awareness | A Portrait Fundraiser For The Marti Party

Hello my friendlies!  My dear friends and fellow photographers at Cean One Photography are hosting a fundraiser to benefit my daughter Marti in her fight against cancer and YOU are cordially invited!   Please join me and the Cean One team on Saturday, March 2nd for a day of mini portrait sessions.   The Studio is located at 3750 Santa Fe Avenue in Riverside, CA.  100% of all proceeds and sales go directly to Marti’s Medical Fund as she continues her journey fighting a rare blood cancer.  Just call the studio to book your session at 866-572-3261.

Your generous donation includes a complimentary 16×20 fine art canvas and 25% off additional products.   This is a great opportunity for that new head shot, portrait of your growing little one or that family portrait you’ve been wanting.

But wait, there’s more….

You’ll also be helping to raise awareness for other Young Adults with cancer.  Did you know that approximately 72,000 Young Adults aged 19-39 are diagnosed with cancer each year?   Did you know that they are the most underserved population when it comes to age-appropriate resources? They are also some of the toughest, most resilient and spirited fighters of this disease. My daughter Marti is one of those fighters.  You can learn more at www.StupidCancer.org

For more information on Marti’s journey, you can visit her fundraising blog here.

So come join the Marty Party and share the love!


Marti CML Cancer Portrait Fundraiser


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A Love Letter to New York City

My Dearest New York,

The more you change, the more you stay the same.   Well, not really.  Let me explain.  I’ve seen you many times before; from a ferry, from the Brooklyn Bridge, from a plane, bathed in the morning sun rays, and with your twinkling lights in the night.  I’ve felt your sweltering summer heat and the chill of your winter wind.

New-York_Trees_Tamara-Young-Orange County Photographer

I could swear that you have a soul and a heart of your very own.  I can feel your heartbeat just walking down one of your many avenues.   When I close my eyes, I can feel you moving and pulsating around me.   People from all over the world enter our country through your ports.  Some visit for a short while, others come for a lifetime. You breathe life into their dreams with promise and welcome.  You are truly like no other place I have ever been.

On a recent trip to visit you to celebrate my friends Cean and Gareth’s wedding, I spent an afternoon in Jersey exploring a small park and memorial just across the river from you.  The view of the Statue of Liberty is from behind, not so exciting.  Come on, no one ever really gets excited to see the back of the Statue of Liberty, right?   See what I mean?

Statue of Liberty in New-York from New Jersey in Black & White by Photographer Tamara Young


In the next few moments, I stood gazing at your world famous skyline feeling far away, yet very close.  I’ve seen many photographs of you made by others; I even have lots of my own photographs of you.  But in this moment, I realized that I had never seen you like this before; through my heart.  When I saw you from so far away, I could clearly see how you had changed.  My heart ached again for you but I also felt an enormous sense of hope. In that moment, I was inspired and reminded that even in the face of a horrible tragedy, one can rise again and persevere with a renewed sense of resilience and appreciation for life.


New York City Skyline, World Famous City Skylines, Tamara Young Photographer

Until we’re together again, my heart will be longing for you.



P.S.  Thank you for making it possible for my dear friends to marry and live as Husband and Husband.  I love you even more for that!

Ashley - July 17, 2012 - 11:39 AM

Beautiful imagery and I was blown away by your writing. The storytelling left me wanting more! :)

Tamara - July 17, 2012 - 12:56 PM

Thank you, Ashley. Glad you enjoyed the images and the story.

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