It was a beautiful sunlit day. Nine year old, Danielle, was excited for her birthday, and all her friends were coming to help celebrate. Curiously, as she blew up a balloon, she felt pain in her left sinus and found a lump. She called to her mother, and they immediately headed for a Saturday clinic. They were told it was nothing. So, the party went on as scheduled. But the lump continued to grow. After six weeks, seven doctors and no answers, Danielle’s mother finally got an appointment at Egleston Children's Hospital for a biopsy. The heartbreaking result was definitive…Non-Hodgskin’s Lymphoma. By then, the cancer had spread to both sinuses.
Fast forward to 2003. A young US Navy veteran named Stephen had just finished graduate school and started his first job. On a flight to visit his dad, he felt pain in his chest. Alarmed, he stopped at a hospital where a friend was on call. A CT scan was performed which revealed a softball size tumor in his chest. Twelve hours later, he had surgery to remove the mass. The mass was cancer...Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Fortunately, these stories have happy endings thanks to research, chemotherapy and radiation. But the stories don’t end there. Like two non-parallel lines, the stories eventually intersect. By chance, in 2007, Danielle and Stephen met, fell in love, married and had two daughters, Milana and Lylah Stevanna.
Milana and Lylah Stevanna are two very passionate girls and they have always been drawn to activists like Martin Luther King Jr. and Susan B. Anthony. So, as they became more and more aware of their parent’s friends passing away from the same disease that their parents had, they felt called to spring into action.
They remembered their mother telling them that she sold her art, as a cancer patient, to raise money for her hospital. So, they grabbed their paint brushes and started painting. They painted in hopes of selling their art to raise money for a cure. That was the birth of Operation Action Through Art. Throughout the year, the girls and their mother work hard to bring forth art to raise money for cancer research. Please join them in their fight to cure cancer. There is a painting for everyone made with love, hope and thanksgiving.