REDMOND, Wash. — At 12 years old, Megan Lisk can’t remember a time she didn’t love art. But she does recall her earliest inspiration coming from her father, Dennis.
"We would all have ‘family drawing’ and he would draw cool pictures of houses and ketchup,” she said. "He was a wonderful person and dad, and he should have lived longer."
When Megan was nine, her father was diagnosed with brain cancer. He died eight months later.
"It's been a hard few years,” said Jenny Lisk, Megan’s mother. “We've been having to figure out how to get back on our feet."
For Megan, making art helped - especially when she came up with an idea to use her work for good.
She and her mom created Cards for Cancer, a line of greeting and holiday cards that showcase Megan's creations on the front and her mission on the back:
"I want to give money for research because I don't want any other families to go through all of the sad times like my family did.”
All proceeds of card sales go to the Swedish Medical Center Foundation to fund research done by Dr. Charles Cobbs, who treated Dennis.
Megan hand-delivered the first donation of $500.
"It was really nice because I saw the excitement on Dr. Cobbs’ face,” she said. "He looked surprised, too."
The donation wasn’t a one-time gesture. Since 2017, Cards for Cancer has raised more than $5,400 for research.
Megan provides the artwork and Jenny runs the business side of things.
“Turning the grief into action, and feeling like I was supporting her and turning her grief into action, was really good for both of us,” she said.
Their work also caught the attention of Vice President Joe Biden, who lost his own son to brain cancer.
In a letter he wrote, "These are the moments when we show up. Thank you, Megan, for showing up and supporting cancer research through your greeting cards.”
Her latest card is for the 2019 Brain Cancer Walk.
"Doing the cards and doing art makes me feel like I have done something in the world that could maybe help,” Megan said. "I think (my dad) would be proud of me and also I think he would be happy that I was trying to turn something sad into something that might help the world."