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We called in the “big guns” for the September Heroes Art Session. Connor’s Heroes was given the distinct honor to create paintings for the Connor’s Heroes rooms in the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. We were so happy when our artist mentors: Jennike Duignam, Frankie Slaughter, and Sarah Cross jumped at this chance.

Frankie took a tour to get a feel of the rooms. Jennike knew her painting must feature a turtle (the mascot of the 12th floor). Sarah did what Sarah does best — concept a piece that draws out the artist in every child.

100 donors funded five rooms in the new Children’s Tower. We designed each room for the care and comfort of childhood cancer heroes, their families, and care teams who support them. We called them the ROOMS FILLED WITH HOPE — because that is what they will do — Give hope to a family and a child battling cancer. The rooms are located on the 12th Floor of the Children’s Tower.

“I didn’t hesitate when Celia asked if I could help the kids create a painting for a Connor’s Heroes hospital room. The heroes painted in their favorite colors, channeling positive energy in every brush stoke. We talked about normal kid stuff, but they were so excited to hear where this artwork was going. You could see their intention changed — they were painting for everyone who will sit in that hospital room. So many feels!” — Sarah Cross, Hero Artist Mentor


The children who painted were childhood cancer heroes who are in treatment right now, others are a few years out of treatment, and some lucky enough to be called a “survivor.” By their sides were their parents, brothers, sisters, and our volunteers.

We can’t wait for you to see the paintings in the hospital rooms. Thank you to everyone who donated for our capital campaign to open the five ROOMS FILLED WITH HOPE in the new Children’s Tower. And to the hero family who made a major gift which, in part, funded the paintings for the rooms.

A little girl is wearing an apron that says Connor's Heroes
Picture Credit: Wade Hysell • Hysell Photography
Volunteers stand together
Thank you to our volunteers • Picture Credit: Wade Hysell • Hysell Photography

Childhood Cancer Heroes: Sydney • Augie • Everette • Tay • John • Lucy • Valentin
Volunteers: Patricia • Gurbani • Vishnu • Hannah • Lauren • Damien
Hero Artist Mentors: Frankie Slaughter, Jennike Duignam, Sarah Cross

Picture Credit: Wade Hysell, Hysell Photography

About Heroes Art Session With Childhood Cancer Heroes And Their Families

Our Heroes Art Sessions provide a supportive environment in which childhood cancer heroes and their siblings can make art and build community with other hero families. At the sessions, you feel a collective sense of healing by creating and being together. We are grateful to Visual Arts Center for giving us the space for an open studio. And to our donors who allow the Heroes Art Sessions to happen at no cost to our families and to supply the artists with their materials.