Zoe Wilson: Amaezying Spirit Scholarship Winner
My name is Zoe Wilson and this is my story….
I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hepatoblastoma with only a 10% chance of survival at the age of 2. I was treated with many rounds of chemotherapy and surgeries to remove much of my liver and tumors in my lungs. A lot of time was spent in my hospital bed. I became too weak to walk and was often inactive.
I am very lucky to be a cancer survivor. A lot has changed for me from those early, sickly days. I’m now 16, in high school, and am an active athlete. I played club soccer for many years, eventually becoming captain of a team which traveled to Sweden for an international tournament. I now play water polo for a club and for Aragon High School. I also enjoy skiing, using my new drivers license and hanging out with friends. I like sleeping in late, being on my cell phone and don’t like doing homework: in other words, I’m now a typical teenager.
I was too young to remember much about my illness, but I see how my illness affected and still haunts my family. I think some of my memories are reconstructions of their memories and old photos. However, I do remember sitting in my hospital bed bored and scared. I looked forward to doing art projects at the activities room and at my hospital bed. I found joy and hope in art. I think art hastened my recovery to being a normal kid. Even now arts and crafts are my way to relax and center myself when stressed.
In the belief that art can do for others what it did for me, I came up with the idea of Hope in Art. Hope In Art was created to help ill children find hope, joy and a sense of normalcy through art projects. Hope in Art donates art kits to local San Francisco Bay Area Children's Hospitals. Hope in Art also has a website to give art ideas to those who are not able to receive the donated art kits.
Hope In Art currently consists of four squishy art kits to help relieve stress during the completion of the kit and afterwards. The kits produce soft squishy foam toys that can be squished and squeezed like a stress ball. The art kits are inspired by Japanese toys called squishies. They are fun, cute foam toys shaped like animals or food. Squeezing them is irresistible. Children get the satisfaction of creating their own stress ball-like toy that hopefully will bring joy and comfort and can be squished in times of stress.
Hope In Art started off as a Girl Scout Silver Award project in the summer of 2015, and is now a Girl Scout Gold Award project. I am honored to be the first recipient of the Kids & Art Foundation’s Amaezying Spirit Scholarship. This scholarship allowed me to buy the materials for my art kits and give over 200 art kits to 4 hospitals in the SF Bay Area. Ultimately, I aspire to distribute my art kits nationwide.
I hope you find comfort in my story and in my art projects. This is HOPE in ART.
Special thanks to Kits & Art foundation for supporting me and providing the opportunity to win the Amaeyzing Spirit Scholarship. I would also like to thank all my advisors: Jennifer Jacoby-Yeh, Purvi Shah, Huy Nguyen, Margaret Reid, and Elizabeth Nolan. Thanks to my family and friends. Thank you for all your time, help, and support you have given me throughout the completion of my Hope In Art project.
How - To- Tutorial: https://cutesweetpastries.wixsite.com/hopeinart This video and the kit (shown in the video) were made for a Girl Scout Gold Award called "Hope In Art", supported by Kids&Art Foundation. These kits were made possible from funds provided by the "Amaeyzing Spirit Scholarship."