UT MD Anderson Releases Annual Holiday Artwork Created By Young Cancer Patients

MD Anderson News Release 12/14/11

The holidays are here, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Children's Art Project (CAP), offers a line of gifts based on artwork created by pediatric cancer patients. Sale proceeds from each item fund a variety of educational and recreational programs for patients and their families.

Throughout the year, patients participate in art classes, working with art instructors and volunteers to craft their designs. The experience not only provides time away from the difficult realties of cancer treatment, but it serves as a form of emotional expression. Upon completion, each design has the possibility of being featured in a future holiday collection.

"We put significant thought into each collection by determining the latest holiday and consumer trends, but the core of what we do lies in the creativity of each young patient," said Shannan Murray, CAP's executive director. "Their talents make it possible to release a new set of holiday designs each year."

The "Gingerbread Friends Ornament," $7, is a new product based on a design from Caitlyn, of Katy, Texas.  It features two attached gingerbread cookies, complete with colorful detailing and glitter. Ornaments are a long-standing favorite with CAP shoppers and one of the most popular items during the holiday season.

Another item that's currently available is the "Four Blossoms Magnet Set," $20, which displays artwork created by Aviva of Miami, Gatlin of Huntsville, Texas and Katie of Houston. The set includes four glass magnets with floral designs that are displayed in a decorative gift box.

One of the staples of each season's collection is the assortment of holiday greeting and note-cards. This year, the "Toy Soldier" set of cards, $15, displays a design created by Ashley, of Houston.  She used markers in this detailed interpretation of a toy soldier surrounded by presents. Stationery accounts for more than three-quarters of CAP's holiday sales.

Besides stationery, CAP is continuing to develop its product line in children's books, as they can highlight more of each patient's individual artwork.  The "Sun and Fun Book Set," $20, displays a range of artwork from more than 15 patients in two separate books.  

CAP's mission is to support young cancer patients and their families through the sale of products using their artwork. Funds generated allow children to participate in summer camps, scholarships, an annual rehabilitative ski trip to Utah and other patient programs. Since its inception in 1973, more than $29 million has been returned to continue this goal.

"The holiday season is especially important because the revenue we generate during this period funds patient programs in the upcoming year, "Murray said. "When someone gives a CAP gift, they are helping make life better for children with cancer."

Texas shoppers can find a selection of items at area grocery stores and other retail establishments.  Shoppers in Houston can visit the Children's Art Project Boutique in the Uptown Park Shopping Center and all four MD Anderson gift shops. All products are also available online at www.childrensart.org or by calling (800) 231-1580 to place an order or receive a free catalogue.