4th graders offer message of hope to cancer patients

10:23 PM, May 20, 2013   |    comments
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A message of hope through the eyes of a 4th grader looks simple: smiley faces, bright colors, and encouraging words.

But sometimes it's the simplest things that can change someone's day.

"I really thought a sunset would make it calm and the rising sun would mean you will rise from your sickness," said Sacred Heart Cathedral 4th grader, Jenna Fairbrother, describing her painting.

UT Medical Center's Cancer Institute patients experienced that lesson Monday firsthand. Sacred Heart students delivered dozens of paintings to cancer patients there.

The class received the assignment for National Cancer Survivor's Day. They were tasked with painting what hope means to them and sharing it with someone who needs it.

"One little girl put 'God is with you.' That really touched me that she would include that-- very special," said Betty Cope, a Lymphoma survivor going through chemotherapy.

For Fairbrother, the project when beyond the canvas.

"My grandfather had cancer before," Fairbrother said.

It took her back to when she visited with her grandpa in the hospital for the same treatment. She remembered what he taught her.

"He was a really kind man and I think he would have done all the things I'm doing right now if he had the chance," she said. "I think my grandpa would be proud of me."

The small gifts have already made a big impact.

"I'm going to put it some place special," said Cope, "When I'm having not a good day, I'll look at it."

It's a lesson that Cope said she hopes sticks with the children as they grow up.

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