A powerful photo series is letting kids who have faced serious illnesses and injuries show off their battle scars with pride.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) teamed up with photographer Kate T. Parker to take pictures of some inspiring former patients. “For kids who have battled illness or injury, scars are badges of honor, signs of survival, fodder for the ultimate round of show and tell at school,” reads a post about the photo series on the CHOA blog.
Parker told The Huffington Post that she felt inspired by her subjects in this series. “These kids have been dealt, by all accounts, a pretty tough hand. Illnesses, injury, etc … and not a single one of them let it keep them down,” she said.
The photographer added that she believes everyone has a “scar” of some sort, though they aren’t always physical marks on our bodies. “Some of our ‘scars’ are invisible,” she explained. “They might be mistakes we’ve made, or things about ourselves that we wish to hide.”
“My hope is that people can recognize their own ‘scars’ and instead of seeing them as flaws or mistakes or things to conceal, we recognize that those ‘scars’ are exactly what make us US,” Parker said. “And what makes us beautiful and strong.”
Keep scrolling to see Parker’s photos of these inspiring kids, along with their thoughts (or in the case of the littlest ones, their parents’ thoughts) about their scars.