Here is a beautiful story that Alyssa's mom wrote for us. What a special girl she is. Alyssa, is now 8 years old.
Alyssa was just three when she was diagnosed with leukemia. A year into her treatment she developed a virus in her brain. She became very sick and was in a drug induced coma for 5 days. When she finally woke up nobody knew what to expect. Alyssa could not speak, she could not walk and days later it was confirmed that she had permanently lost her sight. Alyssa had to relearn how to talk and walk but her right side remained weak and she has very limited use of her right hand. About three month's after Alyssa was released from the hospital she started to have seizures. On a good day she would have three or four seizure, on a bad day she could have up to thirty in an hour. About a year and a half after Alyssa lost her sight she finished her chemo treatment and was declared in remission. Normally this would be a big celebration but due to her uncontrollable seizures we wondered how long her little body could take it. This is when we sought out a surgical cure to Alyssa's seizures. Doctors at UCLA recommended removing Alyssa's left hemisphere of her brain. While we never had heard of such a thing we knew we had to take a chance to find a cure for her. In November of 2010 Alyssa underwent massive brain surgery, her doctors ended up removing two thirds of her left hemisphere in hopes of keeping her communication skills intact.
Alyssa had another long recovery ahead of her. She had to learn to talk and walk again but this red head was determined to survive. Her last seizure was in May of 2011. The surgery has worked. We are now reducing her seizure meds and everyday I see pieces of the little girl that was taken away from me return. Alyssa can walk and talk, she can do simple math and is learning Braille. Alyssa also knows has a service dog named Flint, he helps her with mobility and various other things that he was trained for. Alyssa has an amazingly funny personality and even though her sight is gone forever she see's more clearly than anyone I know.
During Alyssa's many stays at the hospital her only entertainment was the playroom. She especially looked forward to Thursday's as that was Discovery Arts day. She couldn't wait to go down to pick out a costume or to do a special craft. The days when she was too sick leave her room she would always ask "do I still get my costume?" but the women would already know that she was sick and they would have picked one out for her. We have dozen's of pictures of Alyssa dressed up in different costumes and her smile was never bigger than on the days she was a princess or a fairy. Hospital life is hard on everyone, especially the patient, but Discovery Arts offer a little escape from reality!
~ Alyssa's Mom
On behalf of the entire Cast and Crew of Discovery Arts, we would sincerely like to thank The Faris Family for their generous partnership by becoming a Set Director Sponsor.
Their incredible generosity as a Set Director supports our program supplies and will ensure that programs, in the hospitals we serve, have enough supplies needed to bring 'Arts Adventures' for a day of creativity and fun to an otherwise overwhelming hospital environment.
These programs would not be successfully without the generous support from our partners like The Faris Family. We deeply appreciate their kindness and willingness to become our partner.
With Heartfelt Thanks!
Executive Director, Discovery Arts
During the month of January when you shop at Mama Jean's Markets at their 3 locations in Springfield, MO they will be collecting Spare Change for Discovery Arts!
We'd like to personally THANK Susie Farbin and Diana Hicksand, and the entire staff of MaMa Jean's Markets for including Discovery Arts in their Change for Change Program this month. Every month MaMa Jean’s highlights a local charitable organization for their Spare Change for Change program. Canisters are available at each register for one month, and MaMa Jean’s matches donations given by our customers up to $250.
MaMa Jean's Markets are special ... healthy food and products, community outreach, wonderful events, a deli, and coming soon ... online shopping. We are thrilled to have wonderful friends like MaMa Jean's who focus on healthy living.
We'll keep you posted on the opening of their online shopping soon for our friends around the world!
Find out for yourself the many specials here > MaMa Jean's Markets
Sending Heartfelt Thanks from the Cast and Crew to Barry Hovis for his generous bid on our LA Lakers vs Utah Jazz Ticket Auction. Barry's winning bid means he and his guest will be in great seats at The Staples Center on January 3rd cheering on his team. The extra generous bid will help us bring Arts Adventures to the children we serve.
HAPPY NEW YEAR Barry!!!
Bid here for tickets to see LA Lakers vs. Utah Jazz
Friday, January 3, 2014
The Staples Center,
Los Angeles, CA
See the game in great seats.
(Section 105, Row 8, Seats 8 & 9)
Fair Market Value: $324.00
Enter your bid below. Auction closes Midnight PST December 15th ... Just in time to have the tickets under your tree, or for a fantastic stocking stuffer!!!!
Starting Bid $300
Honor every healthy child you know to help a sick child who is in the hospital.
November is a great time to count your blessings for all the things you are thankful for. What better way to put your gratitude in to action. For all of the healthy children in your life honor them by donating a "Grateful Dollar" for children who are struggling with a parents worse nightmare ... a child who is very very ill.
Join us in our pledge to give a GRATEFUL DOLLAR FOR EVERY HEALTHY CHILD IN YOUR LIFE, your kids, grand children, nieces and nephews, your children's friends.
Click the donate button below to send in your Grateful Dollar!
Your donation is Tax Deductible!
We are Discovery Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings music, art, dance and drama to children with cancer and life threatening illnesses while they are in the hospital receiving treatment. We currently have ongoing programs at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), Miller Children’s Hospital, Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center at Millers, CHOC at Mission, Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center, CA and Mercy Children's Hospital, Springfield, MO.
We are seeking donations of boys and girls costumes and dress up accessories. At every “Arts Adventure” children select a costume to keep, so we are in constant need of replenishment. Princesses, Super-hero's, and Character costumes are always popular, yet anything we can use to create a “Dress-Up” moment is appreciated! Our children range from infants to eighteen years of age, all sizes and styles are needed.
For our children “Dressing-Up” gives them the opportunity to transcend the horrible circumstance of critical illness and for the moment just be a child. For these children, normalcy is their greatest wish. During our time together they have the freedom to be a ballerina, a muscle man, or super star! They are no longer sick, and no longer feel like they are in the hospital.
To donate new costumes; buy one and send it to us, send us a gift card or make a donation and we will make sure they have them!!
Thank you for helping our sick kids be kids.
With Heartfelt Thanks,
All of our programs and services are offered free of charge to the hospitals, patients and their families. We rely completely on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to fund our programs and allow us to reach more children.
It's October already!!
Pumpkins, Candy, Costumes... But wait!!
We can't take pumpkins or candy into the hospitals, but we can bring NEW COSTUMES!!
Join us in our pledge to give a BRAND NEW COSTUME to each and every child, each and every time they are in the hospital and THEY GET TO KEEP THEM!!!
Transforming themselves and transcending their circumstances is very important during treatment and it makes a big difference for these special children who are in the hospital missing all the activities that most other children get to take part in.
To donate a new costume, buy one and send it to us, or you can send us a gift card or make a donation below. We make sure children who are in the hospitals we serve, have a brand new costume each and every day we have an Arts' Adventures.
All of our programs are offered free of charge to the hospitals, patients and their families.
"Spending time with these precious children will change your life. You find that you really don't have any problems... they will fade into the background as you witness what real problems are... and to your surprise, you will be blessed by these children when you thought you were there to try to bless them... We are grateful to you and thank you dear friends, for making Discovery Arts possible!"
Marilyn Clements, Executive Director Discovery Arts
1 Day to go! We are wrapping up our 30-30 Challenge but there is still time to contribute to these precious children.
Find details here: http://www.discoveryarts.org/currently-playing.html
The Springfield Art Museum (SAM) offers many opportunities for children to explore art, yet what transpired this summer was far beyond the expectation of an art camp and continues to impact lives. The museum has a newly acquired partnership, housing flyers for Discovery Arts, which brings awareness to the community about the healing power of art. The Bayazed family understands this all too well.
Cidra Bayazed, age nine, and her little sister Talia, age six, stood apart from the other children, with a story to tell. To look at them, you would think it was for their long, flowing, gently braided hair. To know them, was to see it was for their beauty and courage within. They attended Wilder Elementary School and took art classes together at the museum. This time, Cidra would come alone. Talia passed away last December after a three year illness.
When their mother, Shyma Bayazed, was asked what she wanted people to know about her daughters, she said, “Talia was brave. She would fall down. She wouldn’t cry. She would just get up.” As Talia’s illness progressed, her legs became weak and it was hard for her to walk. Cidra, the oldest of three girls, would take her by the hand, help her up and walk patiently with her.
Cidra readily accepted the role of big sister, to all the children ages kindergarten through second grade, at the Fairies, Mermaids and Wishing Fountains art camp. The children were invited into the courtyard Art Garden, newly landscaped by Friends of the Springfield Art Museum (FOSAM). Upon entrance, they were captivated by the anticipation of fairies, stepping into the enchanting world of imagination, creativity and self-expression. It was here, that they would experience fanciful glitter art, ribbon dance, bubbles and cloud watching amidst nature
Lessons were enhanced and children were entertained by special guests. Anne Cox taught them yoga postures, followed by Dr. Sharon Jackson, from Power of the Mind, who guided them in a fairyland meditation. Provost, Dr. Chris Craig, and Professor Karen Engler, both at MSU, used music and storytelling, to shed a light on sensory awareness of the visually and hearing impaired, who must communicate through Braille and Sign Language.
If you believe, magic is real! Cidra at Fairies, Mermaids and Wishing Fountains Art Camp, Summer 2013
The culminating event, a musical concert performed by Dr. Jeremy Chesman, from Conservatory of the Ozarks, was most memorable. The attire was formal and wings were welcomed, as 14 lovely garden and sea princesses and one magical wizard came to listen and soon fell under the spell of the harp. To close the day, the children were given a penny to make a wish and toss in the fountain. Cidra shared the wish from her journal. “I am making this wish for my favorite sister that is in heaven. I wish you everything of happiness, love and kisses. I love you.”
This is just one of many stories to tell. As a teacher at the Springfield Art Museum and the coordinator for Discovery Arts at Mercy Children’s Hospital, I have the rare privilege to interchange museum and hospital art experiences to touch children’s lives. Jill Norton, in a Mercy ministry called Harps for the Heart, created a transcending ambiance on the Pediatrics floor. The music soothed a crying baby, who spent his first 4 months of life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Jill also honored a grandmother’s wish to play Amazing Grace. The song she sang to her grandchildren was played for the family’s loved one in her last hours of Hospice.
Discovery Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, serving 6 hospitals in California for 20 years. Mercy Children’s Hospital, in Springfield, MO, is the first hospital in the Midwest to be given the opportunity to experience the Discovery Arts program. “Our mission is to bring art, music, dance and drama to children with cancer, serious blood disorders and life threatening illness while they are receiving treatment.” For many, their greatest wish is normalcy. Be a part of the promise that hospitalized children will be provided with all the creative and normalization opportunities as their “well” peers. Give generously to increase the quality of life for these children. To donate go to: http://www.discoveryarts.org/make-a-donation.html
In loving memory of Talia Bayazed. You will never be forgotten.
~ Janel Alicia
Bringing the healing power of the arts to children who are in the hospital undergoing treatment for cancer or life-threatening illness.