Art project at Hobby Airport gives young cancer patients chance to express themselves

HOUSTON — An art project at Houston's Hobby Airport is helping to give children with cancer a unique way to express themselves and inspire others.

The Periwinkle Foundation, which works to provide activities and support for children undergoing cancer treatment, has set up a display in the middle of the terminal.

The display features artwork made by kids at Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Center—tropical palm trees, happy faces and smiling butterflies greet travelers as they fly in and out Hobby Airport.

The project allows people to leave notes of encouragement for the young artists; so far 5,000 letters from Hobby have been passed on to the cancer survivors.

"Having cancer as an adult is scary, I can't image having it as a child," said Anna Van Lier, a cancer survivor passing through the airport. "This is remarkable that these kids have the energy to even do this art."

The Periwinkle Foundation has set up similar displays at Texas Children's Hospital and is planning a permanent exhibit at Bush Airport. The project is called the "Making A Mark Traveling Exhibit."

To many of the young cancer survivors, the notes from strangers mean everything.

"I know when I receive one, I'm ecstatic," said Laura Cowling, 19. "It goes on my wall up on my dorm."

Cowling was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 11, she's now in college.

"Whenever I'm having a down day, it makes me feel so much better," she said.

The project at Hobby will be up until the beginning of September.


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