"Smiles For Rylan" Photo Contest


By Evie Allen

MT. VERNON -- A Jefferson County business is rallying support for a local family.

Nine-year-old Rylan Ashby was diagnosed with cancer two months ago. Dunbar Photography is holding a photo contest to raise money for him. And the studio knows first hand about dealing with adversity.

It's been over two months since the Dunbars lost their studio in Woodlawn.

"We are officially back to work," declares owner Twana Dunbar.     

The building went up in flames in the early morning hours. A fire that devastated the Dunbar's.     

"We are still searching for our permanent location. We're probably not going to build back where we were but we're not 100 percent sure where we're going yet," says Dunbar.

They've kept business going in a temporary location at the Times Square Mall in Mt. Vernon. Dunbar says customers have been supportive so the business is giving back. She's holding a kids photo contest called "Smiles For Rylan". The proceeds will go to her long time customers, the Ashby family.

"We started with Rylan when he was a baby," says Dunbar.     

Rylan was diagnosed with cancer in early March when a tumor was discoverd in his stomach. Since he's been sick, he hasn't been able to participate in his favorite sports like, "golf, basketball, running," he says.

He's being home-schooled and missing his friends. He says there's one thing he's looking forward too.

"I get to go on a trip after this," he says.

When he gets better his family hopes to travel to Hawaii. He's been on chemo treatments and is waiting for surgery. Dunbar Photography is holding the contest till early June.

"It does take time. And it does take effort but if everybody would just kick in and do a little bit, it would just make the world a better place," says Dunbar.

Rylan says he's very thankful for all the support and has dreams of becoming a lawyer one day.

"Because I like to argue," he giggles.

His surgery is scheduled for June.
You can get details on how to help by visiting the Dunbar Photography Facebook page.
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