I made my way through the hallways of Miller Children’s Hospital, Long Beach. My crutches made my migration slow and awkward but I found the blue door, as instructed. I opened it rather clumsily because my foot was broken and I was greeted by a woman in a tutu and a wig who smiled, raised her hands and said, “You must be Stephanie! Welcome to Discovery Arts!” I had arrived at one of the inpatient playrooms, where all the children were wearing costumes and I was about to start my first day as a volunteer for Discovery Arts.
"What I witnessed on that first day made me fall in love with healing people through art. "
Discovery Arts is a non-profit organization that brings the arts to children during their stay in the hospital, some of whom are battling life-threatening diseases. My love for creating art, facilitating art, and helping people was what drew me to this organization in the first place. I tucked my crutches in the corner of the room, put on an apron and asked how I could help. The children had already started that day’s project, which included painting picture frames and taking Polaroid’s of each of them in their costumes. I sat down to a table full of children and a few parents, diligently working. Some children had IV poles and some had bald heads. What really mattered, though, was that their faces were lit up with excitement about their new costumes and the fresh coat of paint on their wooden frames. Their smiles transcended the harsh reality of their hospital setting. This was a normal Thursday in the playroom when Discovery Arts was present.
What I witnessed on that first day made me fall in love with healing people through art. My heart warmed at the sight of those children enjoying their time and relishing just being kids, despite their desperate situations. This is when I absolutely knew that my future lay in Expressive Arts Therapy. I want to help children heal and express themselves through art and music. Every Thursday after that experience you could find me decked out in a tutu and tiara, singing and dancing along with the kids.
~ Stephanie Sabins
Bringing the healing power of the arts to children who are in the hospital undergoing treatment for cancer or life-threatening illness.