“I was commenting on how beautiful it was [and] I asked her if she knew what was at the end of the rainbow,” says Elaine Falkner, art project manager at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders Art Project. “Across the table, one of our teenagers loudly blurted out, ‘the cure for cancer!’ The room full of kids doing artwork, parents, and volunteers, went really quiet, then everyone started cheering, laughing and clapping. It is one of those memories that still brings tears to my eyes.”
The art project is an ongoing fundraiser for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, but it also helps participating children cope with their illness. In the months leading up to the winter holidays, patients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, like Kyndle, create holiday cards reflecting their own stories. Other art projects are sold throughout the year.
“The diagnosis of cancer in a child is very devastating for mom, dad, and the whole family. It changes the entire family dynamic into one of survival mode and foreboding treatments,” Falkner says. “The Art Project gives the children a way of expressing themselves and taking their mind off of their illness [and] making their cute artwork into greeting cards and holiday cards [creates a] fundraising vehicle with all proceeds going back to our cancer center.”
Every year, workshops are held with local artists to show the patients different forms of art.
“Kids are natural learners and they are just mesmerized by the artists who volunteer their time to show them how to create their own special art,” Falkner says.
The cards offer a variety of designs including Christmas trees, snowmen, gingerbread houses, the patients’ own pets and pictures of moms, dads, siblings, flowers, birds, people, and rainbows.
To purchase cards or learn more about the program visit pchkidsart.com.