Art encompasses enormous vision and Cookie Kerxton has created art with a most unlikely, and often loathed object, a radiation mask. Diagnosed with vocal cancer in 2008, Kerxton underwent 28 radiation treatments, which involved immobilizing her head with a porous mesh mask affixed to the table.
It was during her treatment that she became aware of the staggering financial and social burden that many people coping with head and neck cancer (HNC) face.
Determined to help ease the financial burden of these patients and their families, Kerxton, an artist, began to wonder if radiation masks, which are usually associated with pain could be turned into something beautiful and beneficial?
Kerxton asked other artists to channel the masks into works of art that could, in turn, be exhibited and sold to raise funds for head and neck cancer patients.
Courage Unmasked: 911 4 HNC
Over 100 artists lended their talents, the National Coalition For Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) became a sponsor and Courage Unmasked was born.
Since 2009 there have been two Courage Unmasked events benefiting Head And Neck Cancer patients and their families in the greater Washington area. The proceeds from the event helped establish 911 4HNC (Help for Head And Neck Cancer).
The two priorities of the fund are:
- to raise and disburse money to assist as many individuals as possible.
- to raise public awareness of the critical needs of people undergoing treatment for head and neck cancers, many of which are now vaccine preventable!
For more information and more great works of art—go to Courage Unmasked.org