Painting will help fight cancer

Published 3:59 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Staff Writer

There was never any hesitation or doubt. When Carolyn Wetmore began formulating the idea of creating a community painting for the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center Foundation fundraiser auction, she knew that Don Miller was her man.
Wetmore, a cancer-center board member and volunteer, came across a similar painting during a visit to a Virginia art store. That community painting raised $15,000 in a charity raffle for a nonprofit organization. On her return trip to Washington, Wetmore thought of artist Don Miller, whose wife Linda had been a patient at the cancer center before passing away in March. Miller instantly agreed to help guide the project.
“He was right on board from the get-go,” Wetmore said.
Over the course of a month, a blank canvas will bloom into a masterpiece as cancer survivors, caregivers and cancer-center staff members will each have an opportunity to add a brush stroke. Miller will add the finishing touches to the painting, which will be sold to the highest bidder at a live auction at Shaggin’ for a Cause on Oct. 29.
“It’s not just reserved for those who are coming in for treatment,” said Pam Shadle, director of marketing and public relations for Beaufort Regional Health Systems. “All of our programs, our complimentary therapies and our support groups, all those programs are open to not only our patients but to any survivor or caregiver. So, you don’t have to be a patient of the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center to take part in our programs. They’re open to everyone, and the money raised from the Shepard Cancer Foundation allows us to be able to do that.”
In addition to being a patient at the cancer center, Dr. Linda Cartner-Miller also launched the conversations support group.
Miller knows that those who add their brush strokes to the painting not only leave their marks on the canvas, but on the world.
“It will be good,” Miller said. “It will be what it should be. It will be a piece of artwork simply because it’s created with all the energy and emotion and all the components that produce art.”
“There’s no set rule about how this should be done. Everything is right.”