The first time I saw Conner Arnold, who is 6 years old going on 30, he was kindly explaining to the adults in the room that his name had been misspelled on his name tag. “It’s e-r,” he said with a smile. And that contagious smile became the star of the show for the Children’s Hospital Colorado donor event last week at The Pinery.
Conner and his entire family were there to recount the difficult events they’ve faced the past few years as Conner has dealt with an extremely aggressive form of bone cancer. His Air Force Academy brother told of how he received the news in his freshman year at an out-of-state college, and how he transferred to the Academy to be close to home. His sister talked about her desire to be a nurse now, after being around for all the medical procedures her baby brother had to endure. Children’s Colorado has been a miracle center for the Arnold family, and they were proud to report last week that Conner has been cancer-free for about a year now! When asked what Conner liked about being in the hospital, “Video games!” was the first thing out of his mouth. “I played the football game,” he said, “sometimes with a helmet, sometimes without a helmet.”
He’s one cute little guy, that’s for sure, and he’s not embarrassed about having attention :) I was photographing for a while on the front row, and I winked at him once when we locked eyes. He spent the next minute or so, from the stage, staring at me and showing me how he was able to wink with both of his eyes. When his mother was speaking at the end, Conner took her arm and started kissing her hand repeatedly. It’s obvious this family is close and are for each other, and although no one wishes these kinds of hardships on anyone, I’m really starting to believe that it’s those difficult things that bring about some of the most beautiful parts of ourselves and our relationships with others.