Cancer survivors hoping to encourage new patients through art
Published Wednesday, December 4, 2013 3:43PM EST
Special works of art created by cancer survivors were officially unveiled at St. Joseph's Health Care's Breast Care Centre on Wednesday.
It's a little like art inspiring life - with glass panels painted for people whose lives have been touched by cancer - by cancer survivors.
Artist Alison Brown put her heart into the project in more ways than one.
"We wanted to provide people who perhaps were going through anxiety or going through fear, going through testing. We wanted to give them a moment of beauty, a moment of hope."
The artists were on hand as the panels, which each tell a different story, were dedicated.
Lin-Pei De Souza was pregnant with her daughter when she learned she had a brain tumour, and says "I put a lot of international words for love so there's love, amour, amore...the Chinese symbol for love."
The panels are the second set featured in the breast care centre that were created by cancer survivors in the Wellspring Art Therapy Program.
Wanda Sawicki, an art therapist with Wellspring, says "While you're drawing you know your mind's focus is at the tip of the crayon or the pencil or the brush because you really want to make it so beautiful and right so you don't have room to worry."
Going through breast cancer diagnosis and treatment is a very stressful time in a woman's life. It's hoped the art work will alleviate some of that stress.
Gillian Milcz with the St. Joseph's Breast Care Program says "One of the things we're striving for is to look at the person as a whole person. They have the physical needs that we can address through imaging, but they also have psycho-social and emotional needs that we hope we're addressing."
For the artists, designing works for hospital patients was a labour of love.
"I hope they'll be able to find that strong place within themselves that is not touched by the cancer," Brown says.
De Souza adds "I'm hoping when the ladies come here and they get tested, they'll see that's not the end, there's still more and the journey's worthwhile. It's difficult, but it's worthwhile going through."