I saw this photo in Vogue Living Australia some time ago, and was so inspired by it.
I loved the mix of children's artwork with the very formal furniture. Jane and I thought it would be a great idea to buy and old chair, have it re-done in plain canvas, then let children loose on it with Sharpies to share their own ideas and inspirations. It was obvious to both of us from the beginning that this would be a wonderful way to raise money for children's charities. We immediately called Jane's aunt Sidney who is a pediatrician at Cook Children's hospital in Ft. Worth. Sidney had initiated the idea that Cook's was in need of a palliative care program, and now that this program is well underway, she is still involved in fundraising. It was a perfect match. I was not aware of what a palliative care program was, so here is Dr. Sidney Aldridge to tell you in her own words:
There are now many little patients who are living longer and better because of our advances in medical technology, but they do live with very complicated medical problems and many will unfortunately still die at a young age. As you can imagine, this is a very difficult journey for these little children and their families. A new specialty has emerged in Pediatrics to help these most special patients called Palliative Care. The Palliative Care team would like to provide support for a family at the initial diagnosis, then all along the course of that child's life, and finally, help the family prepare for their child's death.
The Palliative Care team helps the child with symptom and pain relief, and also provides much needed psychological and spiritual support for the child, their siblings, and parents during these very difficult times. The team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers, child life specialists, psychologists, and spiritual leaders, such as ministers, priests, and rabbis.
The Palliative Care team wants to help a little child live as well as possible for as long as possible, and then help make the end of that child's life be as pain-free as peaceful at possible. As you can imagine, it takes very special people to be able to practice Palliative Care. This kind of treatment requires hours and hours with each patient and family, and is not adequately funded by insurance companies. We rely on wonderful charity organizations such as the Careity Foundation here in Ft. Worth to provide this much needed care. The Careity Foundation has an amazing charity event, a western themed Gala called "Branded" here every August to raise money for our new Palliative Care Program here at Cook Children's Medical Center, and they have provided us with unmeasurable support.
Thanks for letting us get involved Sidney!!
The chair project became more exciting and meaningful when we were invited to Cook's to let some of the other patients design a chair. Here are photos of the kids at work. (Carol had to miss, she was on vacation with her dad, she was so disappointed)
Jane couldn't resist leaving her mark.
Morgan was one of our artists. She has a little help from her horse.
Here is our finished product!!! (4 coats of clear lacquer were applied to seal the chair and protect the artwork. It also gives the chair a rich deep shine)
The chair will now be auctioned off at the annual Branded event. For more information go to Branded.
Jane and I have been looking forward to sharing this, she featured the project on her blog too.