Darien resident hosting fundraiser to benefit cancer community
After battling brain cancer throughout her high school career, one Darien resident is celebrating being a survivor by raising money to help those facing a similar challenge.
On June 26, Jamie Buchanan will celebrate four years of being in remission after she was diagnosed with brain cancer as a freshman in high school. Instead of making the celebration about her own trials, Buchanan is hosting a fundraiser where she will sell a selection of her own artwork.
"It's really important, not just because of the money, but because I hope my art inspires people," Buchanan said. "I often get letters from people who say how much my art helped them."
After being diagnosed, Buchanan missed her entire freshman year and only vaguely remembers the time she spent in the hospital. Eventually she was able to return home for treatment and several of her high school teachers worked with her one-on-one to ensure she was caught up on all the material.
Buchanan's passion for art didn't surface until she was hospitalized and her therapist used art as part of her recovery process.
"I wasn't into art before I got sick, but then I used it as part of the healing process," she said.
When it comes to art, Buchanan doesn't limit herself to just one medium. Her goal is to create pieces to inspire people who are battling or have battled cancer.
"My art is all about being colorful and using inspiring quotes," Buchanan said.
The fundraiser will take place at the Depot, and along with the chance to purchase Buchanan's pieces, there will also be items donated by residents available during silent auctions.
"There are going to be lots of silent auctions with donated items; there will be a professional face painter and an area for kids to do art," she said. "There will be something there for everyone."
A portion of the proceeds Buchanan raises during the "Celebration of Life" event will be donated to the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. To drum up more support for the event Buchanan also posted information on Facebook in the hopes more people will see it.
"The more people the better," she said.
Looking toward the future, Buchanan said she wants to raise money for a different organization each summer. She is currently enrolled at Wheelock College where she is honing her artistic skills before she pursues a career using art as a form of therapy to help ill children, she said.
Buchanan decided to call her fundraiser a Celebration of Life as a result of her desire to celebrate all of the people who have survived bouts with cancer.
"Just because you're cancer-free doesn't mean all of the negative stuff is over," she said.
"Celebration of Life" will take place June 25 at the Darien Depot from noon to 4 p.m.