Charity Donates $20,000 to Hospital by Promoting Art

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The Art for Charlie Foundation, created by a Michigan family with a terminally ill child, raises $20,000 through the sale and promotion of art for pediatric palliative care.

"We use art because it is a beautiful way to fight this darkness."

Art can raise money for terminally ill children. The Art for Charlie Foundation of East Lansing, Michigan, marks its first anniversary on Monday, March 18 with the presentation of a $20,000 check to Sparrow Hospital to fund pediatric palliative care. John and Abigail Waller will present the check on behalf of the Foundation board at 12:45 PM at the hospital. Stephen Guertin, MD, Medical Director or the Sparrow Children’s Center together with Bradd Hemker, MD, a pediatric oncologist, will receive the donation on the hospital’s behalf.

Named in honor of Charlie Waller, a four-year old East Lansing boy who was diagnosed with terminal brain stem cancer in April, 2010, the Foundation raises money through art events and art sales to provide hospice care for very ill children, and to help families who suffer, or who have recently suffered, from the loss of a child -- whether from brain stem cancer or other terminal childhood disease. In the words of the Foundation’s President, Abigail Waller, “We use art because it is a beautiful way to fight this darkness.”

In November, 2012 the Foundation held a successful art show and auction at the Marriott Hotel in East Lansing which attracted more than 300 attendees. A similar event is planned for November this year. The Foundation welcomes contributions for art shows and print sales from both amateur and professional artists and takes pride in highlighting and encouraging artists in the community.

The story of Charlie Waller himself is not yet over. He continues to fight with exuberance against all odds. His tumor, a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, is rare and there is no known treatment, other than palliative care and radiation to buy time. The family reports regularly on his progress through the website, which provides links and contact details for the Foundation.

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Richard Graham-Yooll

Abigail Waller
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