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Children with cancer paint with hope

Update: October, 30/2009 - 00:00

Children with cancer paint with hope


Healing art: Paintings by child patients at the National Paediatrics Hospital and work by painter Tran Nhat Thang will be sold at a charity auction.

HA NOI — A special picture, completed by famous painter Tran Nhat Thang and various children suffering from cancer in the Tumour Department of the National Paediatrics Hospital, will be sold at an auction for charity on the occasion of Children’s Cancer Day on November 1.

The 1.2m-wide, 2.4m-long picture, completed on Tuesday, is from one of programmes organised by the Chap Canh Uoc Mo (Making Dreams Come True) Volunteer Group, with the aim of giving children with cancer a chance to express their hopes and dreams.

The children are encouraged to come to the public room in the hospital, where they are provided with colour pencils and paper to draw until their hearts are content.

Five-year-old Anh, from the northern province of Bac Ninh, always arrives early to the room. Like the others, the little girl is being given a water transfusion, but the pain caused by the needle does not prevent her from drawing. Anh, who has been fighting a tumour in her lung for three years, still moves her right hand over the papers while the other is being injected.

"When my daughter was not undergoing treatment, she really liked going to the village’s kindergarten in front of our house to play with the other children. But after being called a ‘bald girl’, she now refuses to go back," Anh’s father says while his eyes brim with tears.

Another "small artist" of the picture is five-year-old Hien, from Thai Binh Province, who was sent to this hospital just last week. Sitting silently inside her mother’s arms, the girl, with concentration, colours in an image of a parrot in a book for kindergarten children.

Hien was diagnosed as having acute white blood cell disease and she often runs a high fever that weakens her a lot. But drawing seems to free her from her pain, if only temporarily.

When asked to go back to her room to rest, the girl refuses and keeps on drawing an incomplete picture, featuring the shining sun, some flowers and a heart that she calls "The Sun’s Heart".

Aside from the pictures by Anh and Hien, those drawn by other children have also been joined together and put into a larger picture by painter Tran Nhat Thang.

Images that appear the most in this special picture are children’s hands, houses and flowers, all of which express the children’s simple wishes of a happy home full of flowers.

"I have painted the picture’s background and arranged the children’s smaller pieces in a way that they will all be prominently featured in the work that I am calling, Nhung Ban Tay Hoa (Flower Hands)," says Thang.

The meaningful picture will head for auction at HCM City’s Ngay Hoi Hoa Huong Duong (Sunflower Festival) tomorrow, and proceeds of this auction will go to these "young artists" in an effort to give them more strength to fight against cancer. — VNS

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