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Young patient artwork shows creativity and courage

The artist Henri Matisse once said, “creativity takes courage.” So does facing cancer as a child.

Cancer, creativity and courage merged at a recent exhibit of art by patients of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. The artwork was created during the FACES (Feeling Accepted, Confident, Empowered and Strong) and FLASHES (Filming Life and Sharing Hope, Encouragement and Strength) support groups, which provide Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s patients with socialization, discussion and expression through art.

Here is a sampling of the patients’ work and what they say about it:

Cassandra Crowley

Cassandra Crowley, 20
Arlington, Massachusetts
Lymphoma, stem cell transplant
“I wanted to take something negative and turn it into something positive. Being able to make something positive and productive helped me get through.”

Ben Hardcastle

Ben Hardcastle, 12
Upton, Massachusetts
Lymphoma, Decorated sneaker
“You look at the shoe, and you want to have it. But cancer is something you don’t want. If you like the shoe, it comes at a price.”

Cassandra Crowley

Chloe McCarthy, 19
Winchester, Massachusetts
Lymphoma, Needlepoint
“You need a hobby when you’re going through chemotherapy because TV only covers so much boredom.”

Nate Cavallo

Nate Cavallo, 14
Lexington, Massachusetts
Sarcoma, Photographs
“These were taken on my Make-A-Wish trip to Moorea in French Polynesia. My goal was to experience a magical underwater world, which I’d often dreamed of seeing. It’s great I was able to capture this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Sarah Levin

Sarah Levin, 14
Brookline, Massachusetts
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, stem cell transplant, Photograph
“Art helps me explore what I can do with different creative media. I’ve always liked art. It’s fun, and it’s cool to create stuff.”

Harry Clark

Harry Clark, 14
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Craniopharyngioma, Glass cheese plate
“I really like cheese, and I love art. I love expressing my feelings. The red could be happier, and the black could be sad or a little less happy.”

Samantha Mennella

Samantha Mennella, 15
Tyngsborough, Massachusetts
Langerhans cell histiocytosis, Photograph
“Photography shows who you are depending on what you take. I’m colorful. I’m very different. I’m very out-of-the-box.”

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