The first time these three girls posed together, they weren’t sure how long one of them had.
The photo of Rheann Franklin, 6; Ainsley Peters, 4; and Rylie Hughes, 3, embracing each other was taken by Lora Scantling, an Oklahoma-based photographer, back in 2014. She published it soon after and it went viral.
It was the first time the three girls met.
They were brought together by Scantling because each one was diagnosed with a different type of cancer. She was inspired to create a powerful image after seeing a series by Anne Geddes of children with missing limbs, telling Today: “I thought, I need to do something that gives my viewers the same feeling.”
All three were in danger of dying, but by the time the photo went viral, Ainsley and Rylie were in remission.
Fortunately, Rheann did ultimately receive word that she, too was in remission.
So Scantling decided to bring the girls back together for another shoot.
“We decided to do it holding the original picture this year so everyone could see how much they have changed! All three girls are doing great and are still cancer free/in remission,” Scantling told Today.
“We all love getting together! I love seeing the girls with each other! The bond they have is incredible and it’s really neat that they understand that their picture has been seen all over the world and that they have made a huge difference for childhood cancer awareness!”
Ainsley must submit monthly blood samples but remains in remission and is currently “enjoying the spring.”
Rylie needs to get scans every three months but keeps getting stronger and likes to do gymnastics and dance.
And Rheann, who permanently lost her hair from dozens of rounds of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, has been doing well lately and loves to ride her bike, hang out with her friends, and play with her sisters.