"I've always enjoyed art, even before I was diagnosed, and being able to engage in something I loved before; something that reminded me of being healthy, made me feel like a normal, healthy child."
Fall is quickly approaching, and we’re excited to share pieces inspired by artwork from Elise, 17. Elise received a diagnosis of Osteosarcoma in her upper tibia at age eight. While her memories of that period are faint, she endured a nine-month treatment regimen at MD Anderson Children's Cancer Center, including multiple rounds of chemotherapy. Additionally, she underwent a rotationplasty procedure, resulting in the need for a prosthetic leg. As a result, she is classified as a below-the-knee amputee.
Elise actively participated in the Children's Art Project (CAP) during her hospital admission, an experience that benefited her. Despite feeling unwell and fatigued due to chemotherapy, Elise initially hesitated to join the art activities conducted by Ms. Lisa in the hallway, as she preferred staying in her room. Occasionally, she would muster the strength to use her crutches and explore the art spaces, witnessing the creative projects. Every time she engaged in art, it provided solace and uplifted her spirits. Reflecting on her artistic pursuits, Elise shares, "I've always enjoyed art, even before I was diagnosed, and being able to engage in something I loved before; something that reminded me of being healthy, made me feel like a normal, healthy child."
Today, Elise's artistic outlet has shifted away from painting and coloring. She now participates and immerses herself in choir activities. Nevertheless, she cherishes the art projects she created during her involvement with CAP, displaying them prominently throughout her home. Now in her senior year of high school, Elise devotes a significant amount of her free time to singing. In addition to her school choir, she’s also a member of a community chorus and her church choir. Her academic commitments, including advanced placement and dual classes, demand considerable effort and dedication. While Elise was previously involved in softball, she had to end her participation due to time constraints. Instead, she now
engages in regular jogs and strives to maintain her personal exercise routine. Undeterred by her prosthetic leg, Elise is optimistic about her future endeavors.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Children's Art Project. Each month, we’ll provide updates, promote survivorship, and share uplifting stories about what makes Children’s Art Project special.