We recently received a message from a photographer named Derek who had a special case that we could help with. He made us aware of a local family who is dealing with a a terrible, terrible thing. Staff Sergeant Jordan Shemanski, US Marine Corps. is only 32 years old and was recently diagnosed with a terminal cancer. They wanted to get their final photos together as a family before Jordan underwent an extremely risky surgery to try to save his life.
Derek called us to ask if we had a spacious, warm vehicle we could donate some time on so they could go out and do their last family portraits together. Jordan is currently under 100 pounds and can’t keep warm for more than a couple minutes outside. We said, “OF COURSE!” and had the honor of taking part in their family photo session. Derek was donating the photo services to Jordan’s family.
The full email from Derek Cookson:
To Andy, and all the people at Detroit Bus Company
I apologize that it took me a week to get back to you, but I wanted to reach out and thank you VERY much for donating the bus for Jordan and his family’s photos last week. As you were aware, Jordan was undergoing a very risky surgery for stomach cancer on Valentines Day and his deteriorating health left him very thin and susceptible to issues with the cold. Without your heated bus and the patience of the driver (was it Gary? I apologize for getting the name wrong if I did!) I don’t think we would have been able to get anywhere near as many photos for him, which may very well be the last and only family photos they will have done. Despite Jordan being only 32, and a US Marine, he is currently down to around 100 lbs and even being outside on that relatively mild day for less than 10 minutes, he would get cold very quickly, and it is quite hard to keep the body heat in. Having your bus made ALL the difference, as we were able to go from spot to spot, hop out, grab a few photos and hop back on to warm up again. It was wonderful, and his 3 year old son thought it was amazing too!
I am attaching a photo Jordan did in front of your bus that he gave permission to send to you, and he wanted to say how he much he appreciated the bus as well. He’s not a man of a lot of words, and is quite camera shy, but he was game for anything that day, and didn’t really stop smiling once.
I just wanted to send a heartfelt email to say THANK YOU for the bus that day, you have contributed to giving him and his family a gift they’ll always cherish.
If you’d like to learn more about Jordan and his fight, please follow his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TeddyTough/
If you’d like to donate to their GoFundMe, you can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/teddy-tough