Children's Art Project Artist Shares Her Inspiration, Courage

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By Will Fitzgerald, Staff Writer

carrington.jpgToday, college scholarships come in a variety of forms, including recognition for academic achievement, athletic prowess or even membership in a community organization. However, scholarships are also awarded for students demonstrating the will to survive and a bit of artistic expression to boot.

The Children's Art Project at M. D. Anderson (CAP) awards tuition assistance to more than 80 kids each year who are involved with the program during and after their cancer treatment. Funds supporting scholarships come from the sale of each patient's unique artwork.

I got the inside scoop about the program from Carrington Marzett, 20, of Midland Texas, who's the recipient of a CAP scholarship.  After being diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia at age 15, Carrington is just one of the healthy kids now pursuing big dreams.

"It's been amazing," she said of her involvement with the project. "I have enjoyed every minute of it."

Carrington currently attends Baylor University and is majoring in sociology with an emphasis on medical humanities. I, of course, know her as the creative genius behind many of CAP's designs, so I was surprised to learn she wasn't an art history major.

"I'm thinking of becoming a professor of American literature, or possibly joining Teach for America after I graduate," she told me.

Unfortunately, while in school, the reality of cancer surfaced once more. One of Carrington's favorite professors was diagnosed with breast cancer, but it was clear this wasn't a moment of pity, rather one of friendship and hope.

"When I first heard, I felt really bad because we had formed a bond," she says. "I decided to give her one of my CAP designs."
Bunny Note padThat design turned out to be the Bunny Note Pad, one of this spring's best-selling products. It features a festive colored bunny complete with yellow swirls, and an important personal story that Carrington laughed about when I asked her. 

"It wasn't hard to create the Bunny Note Pad because when I was a kid I had a rabbit, that served as my inspiration," she said.  "It was completely white with red eyes; I think it was an albino."

As with each CAP artist, the real story lies somewhere in between their courage, optimism and unique ability to remind us all of what's really important in life.

For more information on CAP programs or to purchase artwork please visit

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