art of photography

Faith & Salvation

Faith & Salvation

Roby Baird’s Journey

“I’m going through the toughest time of my life. My tumor is back, and it is cancer. This time I am going where God is leading me. Therefore, I am going to worry about nothing  and pray about everything. I know God will take care of me. God has a plan for me.” ~ Roby Baird 8/30/18

At home, in the back yard. An emotional moment of words spoken. Saint Augustine, FL, 8/30/18

I know many people that have a strong faith in God, but I must say Mr. Roby Baird is quite unique, someone special; his faith is definitely on a higher level. I think he would make a wonderful minister or youth leader. I know for some people that the talk of religion is uncomfortable. I’m also fully aware whether you are religious or non religious, or of a different belief system, that it doesn’t make you any more or any less of a good person.

As a person of faith myself, the way I see it is that anyone can go to church, or anyone can work in a church, but that doesn’t mean that they have full faith or deep understanding of what it is like to be a believer in Jesus. There are those that after the church doors swing closed,  “followers” go back out into the world picking up where they left off; being hypocritical, judgmental, uncompassionate, and lacking empathy for others. It’s called ‘Talk without action.’ I have seen it. So, please don’t be turned away by the talk of religion.

Religion is important to this story because this is Roby’s story. He wants to share his journey, and in Roby’s heart, his faith is as much a critical component to conquering his cancer, as is his choice in cancer treatment.

Tattoo, ‘By His Grace’, Saint Augustine, FL, 8/30/18

So, for anyone who is not religious, religious, or is of a different belief, I hope you will be inspired by the journey that Roby is about to take. Because this is not just a story about him battling brain cancer, it’s an inspirational story about his faith in a higher being. I believe we are all brothers and sisters, so my hope is you all will take this journey with him. Universal love and support is what he needs, as well as compassion and understanding for his choices in going through a holistic approach to heal himself.

In 2104 Roby had undergone surgery on the left side of his brain for a benign tumor that was the size of a walnut. ( original story here). In March of 2018, Roby began having those similar warnings that he was all too familiar with; he was having recurring headaches, dizzy spells, and feeling completely worn out. Roby went in for an MRI. The MRI showed a “blip” as he calls it, where the last tumor had been. The size of the newest “blip” measured 8 by 9 millimeters in size. The hope was that perhaps it was scar tissue.

But, in June the symptoms became more frequent, and he began having trouble getting out of bed without falling over.

On June 16th, Roby had another MRI, and it revealed the “blip” had grown, showing to be 14 by 15 millimeters in size. Another, more invasive MRI was performed. These results confirmed he now had a grade 3, malignant astrocytoma. Though the new astrocytoma is smaller in size than the one in 2014, (about the size of a piece of corn), it is cancer.

On August 1, 2018, Roby’s tumor was removed.

Roby’s physicians wanted to begin chemo and radiation immediately after, but Roby has opted out of that option. He has been researching the benefits of going the holistic approach for years, since the time his ex-wife had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It was then that Roby saw firsthand the medicinal, healing benefits the cannabis plant could have. With all that Roby has researched, with firm conviction, he feels confident in his decision, and believes strongly that God is with him every step of the way.

Roby arrived in California on September 6th to seek treatment at Green Bridge Medical in Santa Monica. When Roby decided that Green Bridge Medical is where he wanted to go, he began researching for a place to reside during his time there.  He decided that it was worth traveling up the coast to Redding, CA., to be near a church he has long wanted to attend; Bethal Church. The distance between Santa Monica and Redding is a long 10 hour drive, but being that medical marijuana is legal in the state of California, Roby is able to have his medication mailed to him. Being this is the most difficult time of his life, and so far away from his family and friends, he wants to be able to worship and spend his time building his relationship with God at a place he has long desired to be. He went on to say, “Happiness comes from circumstances and when you go through good times in your life you tend to be happy. But, when we go through trials and painful times in our lives, happiness is usually not there.  And, the beautiful aspect of having an intimate relationship with Jesus is that He brings joy.” Roby feels he has been lead to the right place at the right time.

Roby met with Dr. Allan Frankel on September, 7th for his consultation, and on Monday, September 9th, Roby began his first dose of treatment on Tuesday, September 18th at 6pm. He is on what is called the “Quad Regimen”, 5 mg of Delta 9 THC, 5mg of CBD, 5 mg THC - A, and 5mg of CBD -A.

Note: Roby is in California to receive full plant extract because it is not legal in the state of Florida.

I spoke to Roby today,  Roby feels the reason he has been having painful episodes such as headaches, gastrointestinal issues, muscle spasms that occur first in individual parts of the body, then spread out through his body creating whole body spasms. Roby believes this is because the cannabis is doing its work, and healing his body.

So, our story will continue, as Roby will  update us from time to time. I personally feel blessed to have Roby as a dear friend, and humbled that he is allowing me to share with you all this most important time in his life.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalms 30:5, Roby recited.

I could feel those words. I could feel them for him, and I feel they are good, reassuring words for anyone going through trials and tribulations.

The sun will shine in the morning.

~ Jennifer Kaczmarek

Roby Baird, Saint Augustine, FL., 8/30/18

Helpers of Roby started a Go Fund me page to help him with his living expenses and treatment expenses until he is able to work again. If you would like to donate, you may do so here

Introducing Our New Vision And Additions To The Team

To all who follow and support Love for Alyssa, we are truly evolving.  In just a few months we will expand greatly.  This expansion will bring new photographers, a new name to our company, a new website, and more inspiring work. Shortly after launching this project publicly, the idea of creating something on a larger scale felt like the right move. The vision of sharing this experience with other like minded photographers whose personal work moves them to the point of taking their actions a step further, by giving a platform to those without voice. Last summer we refilled our articles of amendment so that our mission statement would better fit this larger vision. Our mission statement remains:

The specific charitable, scientific, literary, and educational objectives of this non-profit corporation, which was initially created by the inspiration of a little girl named Alyssa Jadyn Hagstrom who was born with a rare condition called Arthrogryposis which left her with no use of her legs and arms and limited use of her fingers, is to use the art of photography, video and online media to raise funds for the medical care and basic needs to Alyssa and others.  Photography allows people to connect in a way they otherwise could not.  A single image can speak magnitudes about what life is like for others.  It is our hope that these images will inspire people to help make an impact on someone else’s life. Within a collaborative nature, we hope to give a voice to those who cannot due to their limited capacity.

Jerry Englehart, Jr.

As you know, photographer Jerry Englehart joined our organization in the summer of 2011.  Jerry and I have been friends since photo school.  We both attended The Southeast Center for Photographic Studies, in Daytona Beach, FL.  Upon graduating he attended Western Kentucky University, in Bowling Green Kentucky, for photojournalism.  Jerry still is a student, but is on hiatus for 6 months in San Clemente, California where he accepted an internship with Zuma Press. In Kentucky Jerry started documenting the community of refugees from Burma, and  is continuing to do so with the community of refugees in San Diego, CA. Since 2008 the largest portion of refugees relocated each year in America, have been from Burma. With recent progressions in the political arena back in Burma, again known by its original name, Myanmar, their politics are moving back towards a more democratic system. Yet, for those refugees that definitely want to stay in America the language barrier still presents a difficulty in access to even basic medical care. Within Myanmar there are roughly six distinct ethnic languages other than Burmese and there are few individuals in the relocated communities that can translate for them. In his larger pursuit to document the communities of Burma refugees, Jerry wants to focus a good portion of his attention on these health related stories.

Robert Larson

Getting this organization to reach a larger audience has been greatly attributed to the workings of social networking, and through the greatness of social media we met photographer and writer, Robert Larson.  Our paths crossed thanks to Andy Adams' Flak Photo Network, a great space that Andy created for photographers to interact.  Robert lives in  Los Angeles, California. He is currently raising funds for his long term photography project,Waiting for Haiti. Waiting for Haiti is about Haiti’s past, present and future. It is a story told through the eyes of a young Haitian man named Jeanmary Michel, and the friendship that formed between he and Robert. Waiting for Haiti seeks to shed a light back onto the troubled country, and to answer many burning questions regarding the 15 billion plus dollars donated to Haiti for earthquake relief.  Please go to for more information about his project.  Through our organization, Robert’s desire is to help fund Sean Penn’s Haitian relief organization, J/P  H.R.O.

As a collective of photographers who’s interest span international to domestic health issues, we as a group hope to shed honest light upon the emotions, the people, and the realities of each story we are pursuing to raise funds for through our organization.  We are now awaiting approval to become a 501c3 organization.

We also welcome Rebecca Bower, as Treasurer, and Clair Santuae, as Secretary.

Love for Alyssa’s exhibit will be May 12, 2012.