Posted on Thursday 14 February 2019

in News

Young people affected by cancer showcase amazing artwork

Young people who have been affected by cancer across the UK showcased their experiences through artwork in three special exhibitions with CLIC Sargent.

The art, which included music and poetry, shows took place in Manchester, Belfast and London and were linked to World Cancer Day. Young artists displayed their work to key members of the local community, along with family and friends.

Each of the artists created their own art relating to the theme of ‘change’. Art pieces were themed around key moments in a young person’s cancer journey and representations of how they deal with life after cancer and included paintings, drawings and photography.

Amber Whiston, aged 9, from Sheffield, painted a ‘Survivor Tree’, which she feels represents her life with a brain tumour.  Amber was first diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was 8-months-old in 2010 and has faced surgery and years of chemotherapy, but is currently doing well.

Amber’s mum Lara said: “When we heard the diagnosis I just dropped to the floor and everything was just a blur. It felt like I was in a different world and it wasn’t real. Everyone dismissed it at first and couldn’t believe it.

“It’s been a long road to get Amber back to her usual chatty fun self. Amber says of her survivor tree ‘something happened to that tree and it made it change. Like my tumour made my life change.’ Art is something that she really enjoys and I love what she has created. It means a lot to me that she can find a sense of herself in the survivor tree and recognises that like the tree she has still flourished despite the difficulties she has faced.

“I’m really proud that Amber’s work has been included in the show. CLIC Sargent has been such an influential part of our lives that to have her do something to raise the profile of the charity is great.”

Caoimhe Wills, 22, from Ormeau, Belfast, created her very own poem about change. Caoimhe was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when she was 12-years-old, and then relapsed in 2014 aged 18. She performed her submission on the night.

Caoimhe said: “My poem is about how change is not something we’re always in control of and how it can break and heal in equal measure. Our perceptions of change are usually positive but for someone like me they can be quite negative and it’s about trying to find a way of how not to be fearful of change.

“I wrote it specifically for the art show but when writing it found that the feelings I had about it had been there for some time. I want people to feel a sense of reality when they hear it – that it’s not all about strength and soldiering on, that there’s quite a bit of vulnerability there. It felt amazing to be able to perform the poem on the night, surrounded by so many supportive people.”

Notes to editors

For more information, an interview or images, please email Rebecca.Bourley@clicsargent.org.uk or call her on 020 8752 2812.

About cancer in children and young people

Today, 12 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.

About CLIC Sargent

When cancer strikes young lives CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading charity for young cancer patients and their families. We provide specialist support, to help and guide each young cancer patient and their family. We will fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally. For more information, visit www.clicsargent.org.uk

Note to sub editors

Please note that the name ‘CLIC Sargent’ should not be abbreviated to CLIC, and that the word ‘CLIC’ should always appear in capitals, as above.

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