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Fifth graders donate artwork to cancer survivors

The elementary school students offer hope, compassion along with their paintings.
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Chiara O. Scuri, June 17, 2013 5:35:54 AM

Leave it to kids to be the greatest source of hope for others.

A group of Grade 5 students at Sand Creek Intermediate School in Indianapolis have taken it upon themselves to create brightly coloured artwork for patients who have recently beaten cancer.

The students work on their special portraits and donate it to St. Vincent Breast Center, a local cancer hospital.

This initiative began two years ago when a pair of brothers, students at the school, received the news that their mother had breast cancer. The boys worked with teachers to get the project off the ground and it’s been a deeply moving experience for all involved.

Here’s how it works: Nurses at St. Vincent Health specially select the piece of art they think best matches the patient’s personality and preferences. Upon their discharge from the health centre, or their “graduation” they receive the painting and hang it on their wall at home to remind them of their victory over the disease.

“You look at the essence of the artwork from a child, and you see the very bright colors and the sense of hope that it provides,” Dr. Ruemu Birhiray, an oncologist at St. Vincent, told ABC News. “And once a patient receives it, there’s just a physical impartment to the patient of the message of the art. It’s wonderful.”

Mostly that message speaks of hope. Recent “graduate” Marty Smith told the news network that her painting, with the message “There’s Always Hope,” will hang in a spot where she can see it every day.

It reminds her that no matter how difficult circumstances get, there’s always something – or someone – out there to renew that essential source.


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Chiara O. Scuri

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