St. Jude patients show off skills at art show - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

St. Jude patients show off skills at art show

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DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Patients at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital displayed their artistic talents Wednesday at the 11th Annual Teen Art Show.

Just because these kids are going through cancer treatments, doesn't make them much different from other teens.

So what do teens love? Social media. The theme of this year's art show was Instagram, and it was called "Insta-Me."

Savannah Irwin, who has been at St. Jude for a year and a half, has more than a year left for her treatment for acute lympho blasto leukemia. Her piece of art honored those who have helped her and those who know what she's going through.
 
"I did the handprints because if you've been to the Ronald McDonald House there's handprints on the walls of the children who have come and gone and who have passed," Savannah said. "So that really speaks to me."

All of the art at the teen art show is a form of expression for the kids many who've spent much of their childhood in the hospital.

Terrell Ransom has been in and out of the St. Jude since he was 3 years old.

"I just wanted to express that life can be dark, beautiful, and bright all at the same time," said Terrell Ransom, who has been in and out of St. Jude for treatment since he was 3.

This is the 11th annual teen art show, an event the patients have come to look forward to every year.

"The main purpose of what we do is to give these teens a chance to have a voice and say what they think is going on in their lives when they don't have a lot of control, when they're in the hospital or when their getting treatment," said Jessika Boles, St. Jude Life Specialist.

The teens painted, sketched, took photos, wrote songs, one even baked a cake. Savannah was most proud of a picture of herself participating in a beauty pageant with no hair and a quote that helped her through.

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have," she said. "Before I had cancer I'd say I know what it takes to be strong. But is about being mentally strong."

After the art show, the works for art will be displayed in the halls of St. Jude. Patients sometimes donate the art to the hospital or take it home after their treatment is complete.

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