Mother's love memorialized in painting at Vucurevich Cancer Care Institute

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

A love poured into a mother's artwork will now inspire hope for those fighting cancer.

Rapid City Regional Hospital unveiled a new art piece at their John T. Vucurevich Cancer Care Institute on Monday.


Justin Schumacher looks on at an art installation dedicated to his family

Kristy Schumacher created the piece for her late daughter, Kamryn. She passed away on May 2, 2017 at the age of 2.

Diagnosed with brain cancer at 22 months old, Kamryn underwent a lot of radiation therapy. During treatment sessions, Kristy would paint on the walls of what was a waiting room at the time.

Although most treatment sessions only lasted about 10 minutes, Kristy said the painting was therapeutic.

"It occupied my brain," Kristy said. "It gave me something else to focus on - not thinking about her being intubated or not being aware of what was going on or anything like that."

For Kamryn, the drawings brought her joy as she battled cancer.

"Kamryn was a huge fan of Mickey Mouse," Kristy said. "We did Mickey and Pluto because we absolutely loved the way she would say 'Pluto' ... it was just precious."

As CCI was set to undergo remodeling, it was decided that the wall holding the painting would have to come down. However, Ainsworth-Benning construction offered their services to cut around the painting and move it to another hallway. They hope those still battling cancer find inspiration as they pass by the artwork.

Throughout their time at CCI, Kristy said they felt like they gained a second family.

"It really touched our hearts," she said. "We grew so close to them. And then ... to realize that they felt the same way and they wanted to preserve that because we meant a lot to them - Kamryn meant a lot to them and still does - it's priceless."

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