Posted by Guest Blogger on November 30, 2011
Heather Murray, our Guest Blogger is our featured artist whose quilt was selected as the Africa Regional Winner for the 2011 Maximize Life Art Project.
My name is Heather Murray, I am 65 years old. I live in a small country town in South Africa. Last year in April I was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia. In April and May I was very sick and hospitalised. When I left hospital I was fortunate enough to receive medication through the help of The Max Foundation and a Novartis’ oncology access program. I slowly but very surely started to feel so much better. Once I was on my feet again I decided to make something to help myself work through a very dark time in my life.
As I am a quilter I decided to make a wall hanging which hangs in my living area to remind me every day to be positive. The hanging isn't very big measuring only 450 x 600mm. It is made out of 100% cotton, the black and grey fabric and the shades of yellow fabric are hand dyed. It is made using a method called bargello. The largest square is one and a quarter inches and the smallest square is half an inch. The black and grey corner represent my poor state of health as well as the fear I felt, the colours then graduate and radiate out to one of light, hope and happiness. I also quilted it in a very small intense stitch in the black corner depicting the anxiety and lines radiated out into the light section depicting rays of hope.
I am very happy and humbled to have my work chosen to be displayed on the Galleries of Hope. May I take this opportunity to thank The Max Foundation for affording me the opportunity to regain my health. I would also like to thank Dr Rapiti and the haematology staff at the King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban, South Africa, for caring for me, for their compassion and positive attitude. I have had the most incredible love and support from my family and friends. Thank you one and all. A very special thank you to my children, Brendan and Susan and their families. Your love and care made my journey easier.
My message to other cancer survivors: Be positive. Be happy. Help someone else less fortunate.