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Kory captures the sunrise with a National Geographic Photographer

  • Kory wished to be a photographer

  • Kory on the salt flats of Death Valley National Park.

“ I shot the sunrise on the salt flats! ”

- Kory

As Kory stood in Death Valley National Park with a sand storm swirling, he peered through the camera lens and captured a moment he'll remember for the rest of his life. His wish to be a National Geographic Photographer was coming true!

18-year-old Kory, who is battling leukemia, loves to photograph nature - he even aspires to pursue a career in photography. As such, it was not surprising that Kory’s wish was to go to Death Valley National Park to photograph landscapes with National Geographic Photographer Jack Dykinga. This opportunity allowed Kory to experience a bit of the future he envisioned for himself, despite his regiment of leukemia treatments that usually kept him tightly reined to the present.

On his photography trip, Kory was not only able to photograph landscapes with Mr. Dykinga, but also attended a photography workshop and received professional photography advice. “Jack helped me out a lot, and gave me a lot of cool tips on how to use my camera, and how to take better photographs,” Kory shared. “We went and shot sunrises on the salt flats, and at a place called Zabriskie Point. We had got caught in a sand storm while I was down there, but it provided a great opportunity for us to get some really cool shots of it. I had a great time!”

He was not the only one: Mr. Dykinga also loved the experience! Kory’s eagerness to learn and evident passion for photography made him an ideal pupil, and neither teacher nor student will be forgetting this experience any time soon.

What a thrill to be part of the Make-A-Wish program and to meet Kory. This has to be one of my most memorable times! ”

— Jack Dykinga, National Geographic Photographer

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