$23,023 of $30,000
194 donations

This fundraiser ended on 11/25/11

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A fund to help a single, self-employed mother undergoing a double mastectomy.

My sister, Leila Grossman, is a celebrated portrait photographer and owner of Grannis Photography, the 72-year-old Nashville photo studio. Over the course of her career, Leila has photographed many Nashville businesses, documented the childhood of so many of Nashville's kids, not to mention their families and pets; her images record occasions both typical and exceptional. You can see some of her work at her site, Leila has contributed time and talent to many charity organizations locally, and especially enjoys volunteering her time to photograph dogs and cats, raising thousands of dollars a year for the Nashville Humane Society and other rescue efforts.

Leila is a single mother of two young girls: Her older daughter is 9 and her youngest is almost 5. Leila is the sole financial provider and sole caregiver to both children. On her own, she has worked to provide her daughters with all that she can. Leila and her girls are very close. They enjoy playing violin together and often foster strays to help them find forever homes.

Earlier this summer, Leila was diagnosed with breast cancer. They caught it early and the prognosis is good. The hope is that the double mastectomy cures the cancer entirely. Leila is one of the strongest, most capable people women that I know. She is not someone who often asks for help--she is an "I can take care of it!" kind of person. However, she's in a real tough spot right now; she is a single parent and a small business owner in the middle of recession, and now is also having to deal with out of pocket medical costs that have depleted her savings. She has no way to replace the income that she has already lost with many weeks of doctors appointments and time off to deal with her reality. She needs to take September off in order to recover from this major surgery, and September is one of her largest months for income. She realizes that the stress of concern over her finances is detrimental to her health as she heals, and therefore the wellbeing of the entire household. She and the girls need help and she has decided to let us ask for it.

On Leila's behalf, I am reaching out to ask for help towards covering her household expenses, business bills and all the uncovered medical costs that are popping up as she preps for surgery. Friends and family are offering what we can by way of financial assistance and child care in order ensure she will be able to take some time off to recover from her surgery next week. Any additional assistance will be greatly appreciated by her and her daughters. Leila makes a large portion of her income during the fall, which makes the timing even more important in getting her help. I'm hopeful that lending her some financial support and income replacement will make losing this time to work a smaller blow and lower her stress level so that she can fully get past this thing.

It is always difficult to ask for help, but I am grateful that Leila is letting us lend her a hand to show our love and remind her of how much we admire and appreciate her; Leila is a role model not only to her daughters but to any woman who aspires to create for herself a life packed with love, friendship, adoring children and fulfilling work. I am just in awe of the way which Leila is able to use her fine eye to create lasting, inimitable images of Nashville families. With her big heart and way with kids and animals, more often than not those families have also become Leila's friends. She is lucky to be surrounded by a community of people who both appreciate her fine work and enjoy her warm, funny, idiosyncratic demeanor.

Grannis Photography's archival images of Nashville are amazing and are always available for purchase here:

Leila's mailing address is: 2817 Columbine Place, Nashville, TN 37204
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