Updated by on Jun 12, 2014 in Blog Post | 0 comments

What makes someone a “Superhero”?

Jess and Cameron Bean

I am reading a novel at the moment by an Australian author, Craig Silvey called ‘Jasper Jones’. It is a very powerful story set at the tail end of 1965, when racism and treating minority groups inhumanly was still very much a part of our Australian culture.

As the story unravels, the main character; a 13 year old Charles Bucktin, is confronted by injustice, hypocrisy and rascism in a small town and a web of deception is woven as he is asked to keep a secret that he holds ‘like a brick in his belly’.

His best friend is a young Asian boy, Jeffrey Lu and the two discuss all manner of topics and one ‘in particular’ has really stuck in my mind and made me think about it, for days. Jeffrey and Charlie have a verbal fight about who they believe is the greatest ‘superhero’. Jeffrey says “it has to be Superman because he steps in front of bullets and doesn’t consider risk! He delves into danger without a moment of thought.” But Charlie questions him and asks “Is that really courage? If a bullet can’t possibly hurt you how can it be brave to stand in front of one?” Therefore, justifies Charlie, it is Batman who is the ultimate Superhero because he is mortal. He has the same fears as you and I and the same vulnerabilities, but he puts those aside to fight on regardless. The more you have to lose, the braver you are.” Craig Silvey describes “COURAGE as resistance to fear, mastery of fear, but not absence of fear” …

How many people do you know that you could honestly call a superhero?

I know 2 very brave men whom I consider to be Superheroes.

I have been touched by their stories.  first one is my husband, but it is a very long story and I will come back to it at another time

Cameron Bean is the Superhero I would like to tell you about today.

Please know that this doesn’t mean that I am not in awe of Jess and the will and fight to carry on a ‘normal life’ she strives for every day. I am humbled by her humility and despite the illness she deals with every day she continues to fight for a better life for others less fortunate than herself and passionately supports the charity HIAM Health in East Timor.

Cameron is a Superhero in my eyes…

He met Jess at school, but it took a little while for love to blossom. I photographed both of them over time, working as the ‘school photographer’ and watched as they grew from kids to young adults with a passion and a commitment beyond their years.  Please read their blog LivingLovingGrace if you would like to find out moreabout their work with HIAM Health in East Timor.

‘The more you have to lose, the braver you are.’ which means that courage is humble and human: ‘Courage as resistance to fear, mastery of fear, but not absence of fear’ …

Jess has Cystic Fibrosis and in the last couple of years she has required regular ‘tune ups’ which take 2-4 weeks at a time to administer.

In her words -“So whenever I need it, for the entire 2 to 4 weeks, Cameron becomes my nurse, doctor, pharmacist, physiotherapist, dietician, cook and cleaner. From holding my hand while they insert my PICC line (they won’t let him do that one – surprisingly!) to holding it again while they take it out, he does both the early and late shifts and everything in-between. He measures noxious smelling drugs with precision and primes countless IV lines. He lovingly washes my hair over the sink and chauffeures me to and from the hospital for blood tests, lung function tests and appointments. He makes sure I take every one of my 30 – 40 daily pills and 6 – 10 insulin shots and cleans my nebulisers for each of my 4 – 8 inhalations. Who needs sleep anyway?

The most amazing thing of all however, isn’t that he does all of this now and then for a few weeks. It is that he chooses this life even though he knows there will be many more weeks like this to come. Although periods of IV’s are a bit more challenging than usual, this is part and parcel of being fiancé to a CF’er. Even on the good days there are pill boxes to make up, injections to remember and physio treatments to do. There are weekly appointments to attend and bad days to get through. While many of our friends are graduating and building their careers or travelling the world, Cameron is by my side doing the things that aren’t always fun and that he will have to do all over again tomorrow, but mean there will be as many tomorrows as possible. To have someone who stands by and takes all that on board, I have to say makes him nothing short of incredible. Some might say it isn’t a real job, but Cameron assures me it is the most important job in the world.”


Jess and Cameron Bean

Jess and Cameron Bean

I am humbled to be able to share their love story with images that have touched so many peoples hearts and lives.