Virtual art lessons help our pediatric cancer patients

Kasey Marsh has always been a creative person. She ran her own professional photography business for over a decade, and has drawn and painted as a hobby throughout her life. Now, she facilitates art activities with our pediatric and young adult cancer patients in her role as merchandising program supervisor for MD Anderson Children’s Art Project. Some of their art is used to create Children’s Art Project retail products. The net proceeds from the product sales benefit patient programs for children with cancer. She also photographs patients participating in art activities for use in marketing materials and social media. “Their resilience gives me such perspective and gets me out of bed in the mornings because being a part of their lives is a privilege, and I can’t wait to see what they create,” she says. “They give me purpose beyond measure and are truly a gift to me.” A sign that she was meant to work at MD Anderson MD Anderson treated several of Marsh’s family members, including her mother. In 2012, her mother died in the Palliative Care unit after living for 15 years with stage IV colorectal cancer. Marsh credits her mother’s care team, which included Ara Vaporciyan, M.D., for the extra years she had with her mother. “Because of them, she was able to see me get married, meet her grandchildren, and live many full, happy years longer than at initial diagnosis by a different provider who gave her 18 months to live,” Marsh says. When Marsh decided it was time to leave her photography business, she knew she wanted to work somewhere that served others...