Cancer, Color & Community

April is Daffodil Month, A National Cancer Fundraising:

Last week I had to take my son Yoel to an appointment at the BC Children`s Hospital. As we walked through the hallway, we ran into my artwork that is on display in front of the Oncology Day Unit. The painting was donated in 2007 by many families in my community. Yoel and I remembered the day we came to deliver the large artwork. It was the end of the summer and Yoel was 5 years old. As we entered the Hospital, I remember looking at my son who was tanned and bare feet. His long curls were naturally highlighted by the sun and he looked cheerful and healthy. On that same day, we saw many families entering the Oncology day clinic for another day of treatments. We felt very sad for those families. This sad feeling ruined the excitement we had upon arriving to the Hospital to deliver the painting.

April marks The National Daffodil month. The Daffodil Month is a national fundraising campaign for the fight against cancer. People in Canada wear yellow daffodils to show that they are or were touched by the fight against cancer and to show their support to this important cause.

The Daffodil month, the fact that my son and I saw recently the painting and that my family was touched by this awful disease, brought up many emotions so I decide to write about a beautiful art project that came to life from my personal story and the power of a community. This project was called Color & Hope. A project that, despite my personal circumstances then, still makes me smile and symbolizes the power of belonging to a community.

In 2007, my family had to deal with 2 members fighting cancer at the same time, my dad and my eldest brother. My dad was diagnosed earlier, and while in treatment, my eldest brother used to come and assist him at the hospital unaware that in a few months he would be facing the same destiny. There were very hard times for all of us, especially because a few months before the diagnoses, I was living very close to my dad and brother but unfortunately I moved and I found myself living miles away. I was desperate to be closer and help them deal with the challenges. But I couldn`t be there for them because my children were very young. A very wise friend of mine suggested that I should organize an art fundraiser to help them financially and of course she knew that this campaign would also help me emotionally. She suggested that I should use my talents to contribute in the best possible way to the unfortunate circumstances. Vancouver Talmud Torah School, Jennifer Shecter, Yael Shamir-Elron and amazing families supported this art initiative. We called it Color & Hope. At that time, I was painting whimsical illustrations so I decided to make a sample and show my community the kind of work I had to offer. 10 families commissioned whimsical portraits for their children and the goal was to send all the funds to my dad and brother.

It was fun to receive a new commission every single day. Families told me about their children, pets, hobbies and their favourite colours. It was very easy for me to connect