Art for life’s sake

Medford, Ore., — Cancer can be a deadly disease that affects thousands of men and women across the country every day.

But thanks to an art therapy program at Providence Medford Medical Center, it makes the journey just a little bit easier.

“Art For Life’s Sake” is a free art therapy class where patients can go to express themselves in ways that words just can’t.

“My favorite day of the week is the day where I have art class.”

Diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, Kelley Leonard knows the physical and emotional toll of fighting cancer.

But the feel of a paint brush and the touch of clay, is helping her through the fight of her life.
Leonard says, “Learning how to communicate those fears to myself, and to others it helped me to understand and deal with my fears.”

For Leonard the ” Art For Life’s Sake” program at Providence Medford Medical Center is helping her deal with the fear and anger she faces from cancer.

Art therapist Delaine Due says “Looking at life and death issues are difficult to put into words sometimes, so since we think in images like our dreams, and our unconscious stuff is in images, art therapy can be a way to express those things.”

Due runs the free art-therapy class, designed specifically for people battling cancer.

She says that her experience has shown that for patients, the physical act of expressing painful emotions is healing.

“See it outside of myself, and get a little distance from it, and then other people can see it and acknowledge what I’m going through – that in itself is comforting.” says Due.

Leonard is cancer free now, but the scars are still fresh and she’s still on medication. But this free class is helping her and others get through.

Whether they’re just diagnosed, or survivors.

Leonard says, “Once you have cancer, you may be free, but you’re never really free of the effects of having gone through cancer.”

The class meets once a week for two hours at Providence Medford Medical Center and is all year round.

Anyone is welcome to join.

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