Meaning Behind Art Part 3: "Hope on the Horizon"

In 2015, my brother gave me the terrible news that his wife of 12 years had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Annie was like a sister to me and, at only 42, her diagnosis was scary on many levels - I was fearful for the difficult journey ahead (a lumpectomy, 4 rounds of chemo + 28 days of radiation), the uncertainty of her prognosis, and the toll it would take on my brother and their young son. Breast cancer ran in her family and her mother actually died of it when she herself was a teen. It was hard not to jump to the thought of losing her, my brother being a widower and my nephew growing up without a mom. But even though there was so much that was unclear about her outlook, I tried to focus on the positives like how young and healthy she was to fight this battle, her support system, what good doctors she had and how much cancer research & treatments have advanced since her mom’s time. I was determined that Annie would not have the fate of her mother.

As I often do, I turn to art to process difficult life events. It is a form of therapy for me. I channeled these positive and hopeful thoughts to create “Hope on the Horizon”. The palette naturally consists of pink, the symbolic breast cancer hue, and yellow to represent the sun rising over a long, long future ahead. The circular shape is a nod to that sunrise. The composition is purposely light and airy - not being weighed down by circumstances but rather rising up with love and courage.



2021 UPDATE: For 5.5 years, there was no evidence of disease at Annie's check ups. She had been given a 12% chance of recurrence and things were looking great. Then in April, 2021, an accidental fall (frail bones are one of the side effects of the maintenance drugs she's on) prompted an x-ray that uncovered both a hairline fracture in her femur, and worse – the presence of cancer, this time in her bone. The spread of her original breast cancer to the bone immediately put her at Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. She underwent surgery to insert a rod in her femur and began a regimen of targeted ablative radiation, hormone suppressing drugs with grueling side effects, and monthly shots that will unfortunately be part of her routine for the foreseeable future. With cancer research continuing to evolve, it is my hope that there will be a cure within our lifetimes so that Annie and people like her can live long lives after a Stage 4 diagnosis.

In her honor, I will be donating 50% of all sold prints of "Hope on the Horizon" to - an organization that is finding a cure specifically for Metastatic Stage 4 Breast Cancer.

We all know someone who’s been touched by breast cancer. For those fighting the fight, my heart goes out to you and your family. I send you light, love and hopeful thoughts of a long future thousands of horizons over.