|Holiday cards celebrate survival
by Dawn Brazell
At first, it’s the adorable children’s art that draws the eye. But it’s
the stories behind the art that really capture the warmth of the
Chase Ringler, 6,
contributed snowman art.
Chase Ringler, a pediatric oncology patient of MUSC’s Children’s
Hospital, who drew a snowman for one of the cards in MUSC’s Children
Hospital’s holiday card project. Life is very different for him now
then it was in October 2007, when he was 3 and received the diagnosis
of Stage 4 neuroblastoma. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor and
had eight rounds of high-dose chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant,
14 rounds of radiation and other treatments.
His mother, Whitney, said her son showed tremendous strength and
courage throughout the treatments. Chase currently is off treatment and
shows no evidence of disease. “He continues to warm the hearts of
everyone with his smile and laughter.”
Now his art is doing the same. It’s a way the family can give back.
“We are incredibly thankful to all the doctors and nurses at MUSC
Children’s Hospital,” she said. “They are amazing doctors and
researchers who won’t stop until there is a cure for this deadly and
aggressive cancer. We thank them and God every day for the
miracle they have given back to us—our son.”
Each year the MUSC Children’s Hospital Fund teams up with young
patients and their siblings, local businesses and individuals to raise
money for the MUSC Children’s Hospital through the Kids Helping Kids
holiday card project. Children, many of whom were former patients,
and their friends lend their artistic talents to make the holiday
cards. The $15 packs have 100 percent of the proceeds going back to the
the son of a children’s hospital nurse coordinator, drew this penguin.
Last year, the
project raised $60,000 for research and programs at the Children’s
Hospital. This year 18 artists have their artwork featured in two
multipacks of holiday cards that are on sale now through Dec.
31. Each pack contains 16 cards.
Mimi Dorman, associate director of special events with the Children’s
Hospital Fund, said the program is unique and important to the hospital
and community. To use art to raise funds and raise children’s
spirits is a win-win situation, she said.
“I believe it is therapeutic. Many of these kids are very appreciative
of the care they received while being treated here at MUSC, and they
want to give back. This program allows them to do so in a very unique
way. It also allows them to shine by having their artwork spread cheer
throughout the community.”
It also lets them celebrate the good in their lives, such as the winner
of this year’s card of the season, Peyton Stokes.
Peyton Stokes, 10,
is a former NNICU patient. Her artwork was voted card of the season.
Stokes, 10, is a
former patient of the MUSC Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care
Unit. She was born nine weeks prematurely and weighed just 2.2 pounds
at birth. She was on a ventilator for about two weeks and had three
blood transfusions, but otherwise just needed time to grow. Staying at
MUSC for two months, she was released one week prior to her original
Peyton, whom is described as “soft spoken and super sweet,” is now a
4th grader at Mason Preparatory School, who loves art, reading, being
with friends, tennis and gymnastics.
Hana Dorman, 15, a
former NNICU patient, drew a festive scene from the Arthur Ravenel Jr.
It’s similar to
the story of Dorman’s own daughter, Hana, who was born on Sept. 7,
1995, weighing 2.2 pounds and being only 13 inches long. She was 13
weeks premature and had a long list of health problems. Her most severe
problem was her lungs, which were not fully developed so she couldn’t
breathe on her own. She received the maximum dosage of surfactant
before her lungs would work, but even then she remained intubated for
eight days. Dorman said her daughter remained on oxygen for another 3 ½
months, even after doctors were able to remove her breathing tube. Then
she faced rigorous physical therapy to just gain enough strength to do
simple things such as rolling over and sitting up. No one would know
that by looking at her vibrant art of the Cooper River Bridge.
“Today, Hana is a happy and healthy 15- year-old, sassy teenager,” said
her mom. “She loves art, soccer, her friends and her family. But
without the incredible doctors, nurses, therapists and child life
specialists at MUSC, Hana would not be here. We are forever
grateful for this hospital and know we are so blessed to have it in our
backyard. After our wonderful experience there 15 years ago, I knew I
would one day help to make a difference by working here someday.”
16, is the sister of a patient.
To see more cards or to make a purchase, visit http://www.musckids.com/holidaycards.
Friday, Dec. 3, 2010