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Gundersen Pediatric Oncology unit gets a makeover

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) –  It’s one of the most devastating things a parent can hear, your child has cancer. That means many trips to the hospital are in store and many hours getting treatment.

The Pediatric Oncology unit at Gundersen Health System is getting a makeover, with the hope of making the space more welcoming to children.

A walk through the unit might make you do a double take.

“Doing trompe l’oiel which means fool your eye,” said Sarah Pederson of Lucid Painting. She is making the beige walls a little brighter and using her talent to take kids away from the stress of cancer.

“I’m thinking about lights and darks and shadows and highlights and what I need to do to make it look realistic,” explained Sarah, who chose to paint landscapes and animals that are familiar to La Crosse.

“We wanted to make sure to carry a theme through to reach kids that are itty bitty all the way up to their 20’s.”

It makes a difference for patients like 19 year-old August Wright. “Everything is sort of like plain beige a lot of beige. If you walk in and see all these blank walls it’s really obvious you’re in the hospital.”  August has Stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma. She comes here once every two weeks for chemo.

“It just makes the space seem a lot friendlier,” said August. “I hope it takes them away somewhere else, to not think about what they’re going through, give them a bit of joy in their day,” added Sarah.

With the stroke of her brush Sarah’s making some of their darkest days a little brighter. “Even the butterflies are going through this process and changing and becoming something beautiful in the end.”

An escape from treatment and artwork that helps them through their cancer journey, helping them to never give up hope that their transformation has only just begun.

Funding to pay for Sarah’s work is provided by the Children’s Miracle Network.

Sarah said her work should be finished by the end of July.

Brittany Lake

Daybreak Anchor

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