Bryson McQuivey looks around at his teammates as they break at the end of a football practice held by the Maple Mountain Golden Eagles at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork, on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. Despite a senior year defined by a global health crisis and an unexpected cancer diagnosis, 17-year-old Maple Mountain quarterback Bryson McQuivey managed to keep a smile on his face. Read the full story here: provodh.com/owi7n.
Today's my last day at the Daily Herald. What a surreal statement, to me.
I've spent the better part of four and a half years working at this newspaper, and I feel very fortunate to be able to part ways on my own terms, and good terms at that. I knew I'd leave the paper, get another job or something at some point, but this really being the end leaves an odd feeling in my stomach regardless.
I won't drag on with my words in this post too much (I've already reminisced plenty on Facebook, especially), but I really can't say enough about how working at the Daily Herald and photographing the massively-wide range of assignments that I did has been an absolute blessing. I've met countless people on those assignments, and learned so much from the spectrum of life I've been able to witness from behind my lens. So many moments I'll never forget – I'd recount a few, but I have a feeling a few would quickly turn into a massive list, and I'd still leave people/moments out and feel bad.
I moved to Utah shortly after graduating college at the age of 23, and I am now 27. I had no idea just how formative those four-ish years would be, and I am frankly 100% content with how I spent those years. I've jumped into so many different roles and projects while at the Herald, and I feel confident with the photographic and managerial skills I've cultivated there. It may not be the biggest span of time, but to look at who I was when I started here and who I am today, I've experienced so much growth and learned so much about newspapers/photography and myself. I've learned what I do well, and what needs some work, and I look forward to starting to fine-tuning both my work and personal life in 2021.
Where do I go from here? I plan on staying put here in Utah for the foreseeable future, so I'm glad I'll get to keep living in a place that's truly become a home to me. I also plan to keep a photo blog running in my future endeavors, but it'll likely be a quarterly or bi-annual blog, depending on just how much content I'm creating going forward. I'll share more about my future plans tomorrow, but for now, I'd like to reflect on the wild ride I've had at the Daily Herald.
Update: I've decided to go freelance!
I'll be continuing this blog in some fashion (likely on a quarterly or semi-annual basis)
depending on how often I produce work going forward. I'll post a link to that blog whenever it's created here, but for that and the most up-to-date and divers collection of my work,
check out my new portfolio website here: isaachalephoto.com
Bryson McQuivey shaves the head of his teammate Jordan Parks as his family and friends shave the heads of several of Bryson’s other teammates to show support for his fight against cancer during a quarterly awards assembly held Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork. Somewhere along his journey, a “Bryson Strong” Facebook group, and wristbands, hoodies, shirts and other items bearing hashtag #BrysonStrong began to unite Spanish Fork and its surrounding communities to help him however they could. “To see that all these people rally around and help has been just a huge astronomical help in the whole thing,” said Bryson’s father Chris McQuivey. “We had GoFundMe that got $8,800 in a matter of 15 to 20 minutes.”
Bryson McQuivey listens to a video as he jokes around with his teammates during a football practice held by the Maple Mountain Golden Eagles at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork, on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. When McQuivey was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma in August, he realized his cancer treatments would take a toll on nearly every aspect of his life. “That’s when things started to come into reality, when the doctor said 18 months of treatments,” McQuivey said. “That’s when it started to be like, ‘OK, football is not an option, school is going to be really rough.’” His diagnosis made him even closer to his teammates and friends, who became a vital support system for the high schooler.
Bryson McQuivey prays with his teammates before a game between the Maple Mountain Golden Eagles and the Timpanogos Timberwolves held at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork, on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. Through his faith as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, McQuivey did his best to set a good example for others, according to his family. “He dug down deep and he turned toward his savior,” his mother Marci said. “When you look at him the year before, and you look at him when he passed, and he just changed from boy to man in a year.”
Maple Mountain senior defensive back Jaryd Pendleton (11) watches a play unfold as he sports a cancer ribbon and sticker commemorating Bryson McQuivey during a game between the Maple Mountain Golden Eagles and the Timpanogos Timberwolves held at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork, on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. McQuivey’s diagnosis made him even closer to his teammates and friends, who became a vital support system for the high schooler.
Maple Mountain seniors Emi Rocha and Levi Ferrell ride along the Spanish Fork River Trail as part of a bike-a-thon fundraiser started by Maple Mountain High School’s student council to raise money for Bryson McQuivey at the Spanish Fork Sports Park on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Spanish Fork. Fundraisers, community events, his high school’s spirit week, and many other events were held to help bolster McQuivey and his family. Knowing McQuivey wouldn’t play during his senior year, his teammates took turns wearing his number 15 jersey at each and every game to show in some small way he was still on the field. Bryson’s mother Marci added, “You don’t know how to take it all in, and you don’t know how to thank everybody.”
Bryson McQuivey rests before his radiation therapy at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. McQuivey stayed on his chemotherapy regimen throughout the summer and things stayed looking hopeful. At the beginning of August and near the start of his senior year, Bryson began to have pain in his knee. “That’s when they found the tumor in his knee,” said Marci. With that discovery, his mother Marci explained that McQuivey’s odds of survival dropped to virtually zero, and that his cancer had become resistant to chemotherapy.
Bryson McQuivey makes his way out of the hospital after his radiation therapy at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. “Nobody had ever survived a relapse,” his mother Marci said. “It’s tough to tell your 17-year-old child that basically they weren’t supposed to make it and that the doctors weren’t going to save him.”
A balloon held by senior running back Quinlin Jackson bears a message as it floats in the breeze before a balloon release held at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork, on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, to honor Bryson McQuivey following his death the day prior. Surrounded by his family at his Spanish Fork home, two days before Thanksgiving, McQuivey died after receiving a blessing from his parents. “I took my hands off his head. He was gone,” said McQuivey’s father, Chris.
Family and friends of Bryson McQuivey release balloons on the 15-yard line to honor Bryson, who died the day prior, at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork, on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. Memories of Bryson were shared before the balloon release. Bryson’s family shared a wish he had upon all those that helped lift him up through the struggles in his life: “Thank you for loving me, now go share that love with others.”
Orem running back Joe Smith poses for a portrait at Orem High School on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Orem. A senior, Smith has been chosen as the Daily Herald’s 2020 All-Valley Football Player of the Year.
Jonathan and Anika Meyers, left, and Kyle and Tali Vorkink sing Christmas carols for attendees as they portray angels during a live nativity sponsored by the Orem Sharon LDS Stake and held at 425 E. 600 South in Orem on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith loads a box of food into a family’s vehicle at the Tabitha's Way North County Food Pantry in American Fork on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Because of Tabitha’s Way Food Pantries in American Fork and Spanish Fork, hundreds of Utah County families will be able to enjoy Christmas dinners, even though they cannot afford it right now. These Christmas meals were given out to those in need on Monday, with a little help from local elected officials.
Adrian Rodriguez and Annette Alvizo, both of American Fork, joke with one another as they and their dogs walk around holiday trees at Art Dye Park in American Fork on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020.
Tim Smith, of Provo, his daughter Hannah and son McKay check addresses on bags containing gifts before delivering them to families as part of the United Way of Utah County's Sub for Santa program Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, at Community Action Services and Food Bank in Provo.
Nate Prescott, an economic development specialist for Orem City, poses with a utility box wrapped in his vinyl artwork at the intersection of 800 South and 400 East in Orem on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020.
Lt. Tom Hodgson poses for a portrait outside of the Utah County Sheriff's Office in Spanish Fork on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. Hodgson helped start Shop With a Cop in Utah County, and this year celebrated the 30th anniversary of the first event.
Traffic flows past the Lehi Roller Mills on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020.
Spencer Durrell gives a customer their drinks during a soft opening for the Dutch Bros. Coffee location along University Avenue in Provo on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. Durrell is a part of the MOB, or master of baristas, which is a group of skilled Dutch Bros. Coffee employees that help train new employees when new locations open.
Jason Taylor, founder and owner of TaylorMade Lawn, poses for a portrait outside of his home in American Fork on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. Many people spend hours working in their yards during the warm seasons of the year, but one American Fork man has spent months in his quest for a perfect lawn. While doing so, Jason Taylor learned life lessons, started a business and used what he has learned to serve others.