Family Matters - Winter 2008
At the Children’s Cancer Hospital at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Children’s Art Project is a virtual Santa Claus, funding many programs that make life better for children with cancer. The project’s office is one of those places where it’s Christmas all year long - staff and volunteers work to produce the cards and gifts whose sales fund summer camps, college scholarships, ski trips, in-hospital classrooms, Child Life workers and other exciting activities for young cancer patients.
Patients in the Children’s Cancer Hospital are the elves who busily create the artwork featured on all the cards, ornaments, ceramics, t-shirts and more. For Holiday 2008, artwork from some 40 patient artists is part of the collection.
Among this year’s designers is Stacy Duff, a patient from Houston with large b-cell lymphoma. She is a first-time designer with four pieces of art in the holiday collection: “Mr. Claus,” “Nativity” and “Stocking” as greeting cards and “Lamb” as the “L” in the Alphabet Train book. Stacy is now a student at the University of Houston – Downtown, where she majors in business management. She’s looking forward to having her own art gallery in the future (and has ambitions for an Oscar, too).
The trio of friends, Jaime Bernadac, Carlo Carrillo and Luis Escamilla, are all long time designers who are back again this year with artwork in the collection. Jaime, age 18, moved to Houston from Durango, Mexico, and has completed treatment for Ewing's sarcoma. Carlo, 17, is originally from El Paso, but now lives in Houston. He completed treatment for leukemia. Luis, 18, a native of Monterrey, Mexico, now living in Houston, has completed treatment for fibrosarcoma. They have continued the friendship they forged at M. D. Anderson. All three attended Lamar High School, and all participated in numerous programs funded by the Children’s Art Project — from the education programs to summer camp to many field trips and activities.
The Children’s Art Project has contributed more than $24.5 million dollars to fund programs that benefit cancer patients and their families in both the Children’s Cancer Hospital and M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.