LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – For Erin Morrison this painting is a symbol of hope and healing.
“It’s a beautiful depiction of kind of everything I experienced kind of rolled up in a ball,” said Morrison.
The journey started on February 27, 2020. It was on that day when doctors told her she had breast cancer after a routine mammogram, right near the start of the pandemic.
“I thought I knew about breast cancer but when I started getting into what this really was and what this meant I really had no idea,” said Morrison.
She would later learn that cancer had spread. It led to aggressive chemo treatments, several surgeries and 29 rounds of radiation, and 180 visits to Sparrow hospital, and because of COVID-19 precautions at the hospital at that time, this was a battle she would fight alone.
“I was not allowed to have anybody in. My family would literally have to drop be off at the door.”
It was during this time when she heard about a group called ‘Twist Out Cancer.’ The program helps connect patients and cancer survivors with artists. It’s a way of providing healing and comfort.
“It’s a type of therapy almost in itself that you have somebody that you can talk to about this that really wants to listen.”
On the other end was artist Alexandra Hart. The two would spend time talking virtually—painting—and building a friendship.
“Erin and I would call and zoom and face time and all that stuff like every couple of weeks and It was kind of my job to learn as much as possible about her and her journey and then portray that in some visual form,” said Hart.
Through listening to her story she brought her journey to life. It’s one of twists and turns while showing resilience and strength.
“It means the world to me. It’s my favorite project that I’ve ever done because first of all Erin is a terrific human being.”
Erin is now a cancer survivor. She says seeing it for the first time is a moment she won’t forget.
“It really took my breath away. It was amazing,” said Morrison.
Now it’s permanent home is inside the hospital where it will be a constant reminder to every person that there is someone out there who cares.
“For me when people see this painting I want them to see Erin through that and realize that there are people like that in the world and there is always going to be somebody in your corner whether you realize it or not and Erin is one of those people for everyone she meets,” said Hart.