There is no age limit for determining a true warrior spirit. I have met brave soldiers and fearless development workers over the years who commend my respect and admiration, and I bow to their inner strength and resilience. Whether it is a businessman unafraid to take a risk, a photographer who will go the extra mile for the pursuit of light, or a fireman who will risk his life in the line of duty, there is a hero hiding inside each of them and they deserve our praise and recognition. When the hero comes in a tiny bundle, armed only with the will to live and the undying love and support of her family, I cannot help but feel humbled and be filled with hope.

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Pia and Ken ©MT Herzog

Meet Pia, eight months old, or six, depending on how you count. She was born two months premature and spent the first 81 days of her tiny life inside an incubator. Her story is just about to unfold, but what a beginning it has had already. The youngest of a brood of five children, she is also the only girl. Even at this early age, she is already showing her warrior spirit, proving that the threat of death is no obstacle.

Look at those little hands, they will rule over her four older brothers, but also love with tenderness. This portrait was shot shortly after Halloween, hence the father’s turkey outfit. We have a deal – that I, God willing, will retake this shot in 20 years, turkey suit and all. Watch out world, Pia has arrived!

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