BRANDON, Fla. - Once you get past the rush of color and swirling abstractions and artsy sayings all around an abandoned T-Mobile store off Highway 60 in Brandon, you realize that what's going on here is nothing short of amazing...
"When I first started this I just though it was an art project," said Peggie Sherry, the CEO of Faces of Courage . "An arts and medicine project. I did not think we'd be painting 30... almost 40 people."
Sherry's task of bringing together cancer survivors and local artists, who'll help them see their bodies -- changed by both disease and treatment -- as something new and improved is an ever-growing one. Starting a year and a half ago, the project featured one artist and a couple of breast cancer survivors.
"And now we've had artists that want to come and be involved in the bodies of courage," she said. "So what we've decided to do was to do a weekend where we've brought out a whole bunch of artists and a whole bunch of survivors of all cancers and have them body-painted over a two-day session."
Which is where we ran into Paloma De Jesus -- so pleased and proud to be a part of this after dealing with breast and bone cancer since 2009.
"So in three years I have gone through six different surgeries," she said. "I just got my reconstruction done and I'm very proud of it."
Helping her in that transition artist Amy Kaiser.
"I've done a lot of body painting," said Amy, between brush strokes. "I've never done it for such an amazing cause though."
The cause: to take back life and to create a book of images that highlight beauty.
"And this will be a day where they're not focused on what's missing," said Peggy, "they're focused on wow, how can we make this a magical beautiful thing."
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