On her wedding day, Anna Bozman Thompson looked like a storybook bride in a gorgeous dress, with her handsome husband and their two adorable children by her side. But the day was bittersweet; her eldest son, Lake, wasn't there to celebrate with them. Lake lost his battle with leukemia in May and passed away just weeks before his ninth birthday. According to Thompson, Lake had always wanted Anna and her now-husband, Travis, to tie the knot — plans that were put on hold after Lake was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. The Thompsons wanted to honor Lake’s memory on their wedding day, so they enlisted the help of photographer Brandy Angel. Angel first met the family when she took pictures of Lake as part of her charitable work with families affected by cancer. Anna and Travis' wedding marked the first time the family had posed for a portrait since Lake’s passing. But with the help of some Photoshop magic, Angel and fellow photographer Paul Woodward made it possible for the Thompsons to share their big day with Lake in the form of a very special photo. In it, Lake appears to be standing alongside the family, watching over them in this joyous moment.
The heartbreaking image also serves as a poignant way for Anna to remember how she felt the day of her wedding. “I do know that ️Lake has been watching over us, especially when we got married,” she told Fox 5. The photo was shared on Facebook and quickly went viral — something that has surprised Angel. “When Anna decided to share her private photo with the world, we knew it would bring comfort to those who knew Lake and Anna. We had no idea it would bring comfort around the world,” she told us in an email. The family also hopes that the popularity of the image will inspire people to learn more about registering as a bone marrow donor with Be The Match.