Months Into Her Battle With Cancer, Gerdi McKenna’s Friends E-Mailed a Photographer. and It Was the Best Birthday.

In late 2013, Gerdi McKenna was diagnosed with breast cancer. Just a few months later, her friends e-mailed photographer Albert Bredenhann to request a photo shoot in celebration of Gerdi’s birthday. Little did the South African woman know that it was a ruse. Yes, the photo shoot actually happened, but the birthday party wasn’t just a gathering of friends – it was a show of overwhelming support in the face of a scary disease. A stunning tribute to love, friendship and healing can be found in the video below.

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Michael Harrell is a former staff member and current volunteer at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Federal Way, Washington. A blogger by hobby and social media manager by trade, he continues to teach the faith to ninth graders when he's not busy watching movies or theatre. He loves the Seattle Mariners, and his wife wants you to know he's married. You can follow him on Twitter.