Pediatric cancer patients’ art exhibit shows courage and creativity

The artist Henri Matisse once said, “Creativity takes courage.” So does facing cancer as a child. Cancer, creativity and courage merged at a recent exhibit of art by patients of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Here is a sampling of the patients’ work and what they say about it.

Nate Cavallo, 14, of Lexington, Massachusetts

These were taken on my Make-A-Wish trip to Moorea in French Polynesia. My goal was to experience a magical underwater world, which I’d often dreamed of seeing. It’s great I was able to capture this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Ben H2


Ben Hardcastle, 12, of Upton, Massachusetts
Decorated sneaker

You look at the shoe, and you want to have it. But cancer is something you don’t want. If you like the shoe, it comes at a price.

Sarah L2

Sarah Levin, 14, of Brookline, Massachusetts
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, stem cell transplant

Art helps me explore what I can do with different creative media. I’ve always liked art. It’s fun, and it’s cool to create stuff.

Chloe 2


Chloe McCarthy, 19, of Winchester, Massachusetts

You need a hobby when you’re going through chemotherapy because TV only covers so much boredom. 

Harry C  (3)

Harry Clark, 14, of Wellesley, Massachusetts (turns 15 May 28),
Glass cheese plate

I really like cheese, and I love art. I love expressing my feelings. The red could be happier, and the black could be sad or a little less happy.



Samantha Mennella, 15, of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts
Langerhans cell histiocytosis

Photography shows who you are depending on what you take. I’m colorful. I’m very different. I’m very out-of-the-box.


Cassandra C2

Cassandra Crowley, 20, of Arlington, Massachusetts
Lymphoma, stem cell transplant

I wanted to take something negative and turn it into something positive. Being able to make something positive and productive helped me get through.

Photos: Heather Strauch