Kids with cancer create art to benefit Puget Sound Blood Center

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by JEAN ENERSEN / KING 5 News

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KING5.com

Posted on May 1, 2012 at 5:00 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

"Let's give Adam some room," calls out Art Therapist Rosalie Frankel.

Adam Mower has just arrived, wheeling his IV cart along. He sits down to join the group at the craft table at Seattle Children's school room.

The four middle schoolers have been creating a series of masks to be auctioned at an upcoming gala. Proceeds will benefit the Puget Sound Blood Center.

At first the masks all look alike. But soon the paint applied by the group of young artists, begins to transform them until they become as individual as the mask painters.

The friends never imagined they would find themselves here. That was before cancer turned their lives upside down.

"I was diagnosed with ALL, lymphocytic leukemia," said twelve year old Jamie Founds.

"I just had my surgery on April 11th," said eleven year old Nicole St. Martin.

"I got Ewing's Sarcoma cancer," added eleven year old Lauren Selden.
 
There is time for their painstaking work on the masks. They are all receiving long term treatment at Seattle Children's.

"Too long," laughed Lauren Selden. "I've been here since last July". She said she's anxious to get back to her roller derby team, the "Big Island Babes from Hawaii".

The kids have gained powerful insight into how precious blood donation can be.

"I've had many many blood transfusions. And it means a lot," explained Jamie Founds.

In the past the blood for those transfusions would come from a lab off site. Not anymore. 
 
Meghan Delaney, DO MPH, Director of the Blood Bank showed off the storage units.

"Platelets are important for patients that are getting chemotherapy and have cancer," she said as she pulled out a drawer of processed blood product.

Last summer Seattle Children's collaborated with the Puget Sound Blood Center to open a unique blood lab right inside the hospital.

"It has been a dream of mine for as long as I have been doing this," said Dr. Dana Matthews.

Dr. Matthews is Seattle Children's Director of Clinical Hematology. She said the lab saves crucial time getting blood to the bedside. Staff can customize what a child needs, and create child size volumes.

"There are some times where we may transfuse two teaspoons of blood to a baby that weighs, you know, a pound and a half," she explained.

When those tiny volumes are needed, they are right here.

For Adam Mower who has needed many blood donations, creating art for an upcoming auction takes on greater meaning.

"It's like to give back something to people who gave us the blood," said Adam.

He and his friends are all giving back as they look forward to beating cancer.

You can see the masks at the Bellevue Art Museum until they're auctioned off at a gala fundraiser may 5th at the Bellevue Hyatt. Auction proceeds will support scientific investigation at the Puget Sound Blood Center.

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