Fort Worth

‘Cards for Kids' Program Helps Patients and Cook Children's Medical Center

Art is a form of expression. It's like life, according to 16-year-old Paige Scanlan.

"When you're drawing and it comes out the way you want it to, it's great," she said. "But it can also be frustrating."

Scanlan has been in and out of hospitals since she was just a year old.

"They found that I had a tethered spinal chord," she said.

All the while, she continued to draw.

"It's a really great outlet," Scanlan said.

"When they pick up a paint brush, they begin telling their story," said Cook Children's Medical Center volunteer Lucy Biggs. "It's amazing to see the compassion and the love."

Biggs is with the Woman's Board of Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. The organization takes patient artwork and turns it into cards sold online and in the hospital's gift shop.

Through the years, the Cards for Kids program has raised $4.3 million and all of the money goes right back to the hospital.

The board has purchased, among other things, an ambulance and hospital equipment with the money raised through the program.

"If our program can get them to smile for one minute, it just makes a huge difference," Biggs said.

Scanlan's artwork has become a very popular card. She drew a picture of a big yellow cat named "Blobulous" three years ago after brain surgery.

"Some people, after surgeries like that, you don't have your full potential like you used to," Scanlan said. "Doing the painting actually showed me, 'I can still do this,'" she said with a big smile.

It also helped her envision bigger goals.

"I'm planning on probably making this a career when I grow up," she said.

Proving life really does imitate art.


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