"[Art] is a cool way
to express yourself, your personality, and your thought process."
- Richard W.
Hoppy April! Spring is in full bloom and full of celebration. Our new Spring/Summer collection features products inspired by the artwork of Richard, age 38. Richard received his initial diagnosis in Pennsylvania after noticing a mass under his armpit. He was referred to the area children’s hospital for further evaluation. Following the recommendation of getting a second opinion, he was referred to MD
Anderson Children’s Cancer Center. Doctors diagnosed him with Rhabdomyosarcoma and developed a comprehensive treatment plan consisting of a year-long course of chemotherapy. After he completed treatment, Richard was informed of tumor regression and has since been in remission.
During his treatment, Richard found solace in participating in the Children’s Art Project, which gave him an opportunity to engage in creative expression. He especially remembers the guidance and encouragement he received from one of the art teachers who approached him and asked him to participate in the program. Although not inherently skilled in the visual arts, Richard found the experience to be personally enriching. He said, “It’s a cool way
to express yourself, your personality, and your thought process.” As an adult, he’s explored photography as a means of artistic expression. He recalls the overall environment of the hospital floor as one in which medical staff and caregivers made every effort to provide a sense of normalcy and support to their patients.
Following high school, Richard pursued a degree in engineering before enlisting in the military where he served as an LVN nurse. During his tenure in the military, he gained a newfound appreciation for nursing and decided to go to nursing school. He completed his pre-requisite coursework at Houston Community College (HCC) and later at The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing. Inspired by his previous involvement in the Children’s Art Project (CAP), Richard began exploring various forms of self-expression. After his discharge from the military, he found comfort in photography which helped him reconnect with the world around him, and allowed him to rediscover the beauty and wonder of life outside the confines of military life. As Richard aptly said, “Life was very automatic, so getting into photography allowed me to reconnect with the world around me.”
After college, Richard secured a position at MD Anderson Cancer Center as a registered nurse (RN) specializing in stem cell therapy. He’s spent the past two years working in the stem cell clinics and previously
worked five years on the stem cell floor. Prior to joining MD Anderson, Richard honed his skills in stem cell therapy at City of Hope in Los Angeles. Notably, Richard’s tenure at MD Anderson began after his graduation from nursing school, further highlighting his dedication to the field of oncology.
Richard is a devoted husband and father of two young children, ages five and two years old. Following the birth of his son, Richard was featured in a series entitled “Men in Nursing at MD
Anderson,” which showcased the contributions of male nurses to the institution. In his free time, Richard enjoys engaging in sports like ultimate frisbee, pickleball, and cherishing time spent with his family.
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.