When writing becomes a grind, as it sometimes does, especially every single day, there are ways to be inspired. Take, for instance, an ask by Matt Gerson, Co-Founder of Tracy’s Kids, an Art Therapy Program sponsored in several hospitals across the Washington/Baltimore Metropolitan regions and beyond. Tracy has helped thousands of kids deal with their cancer, so it’s just not about the medicine. Art Therapy is also a medicine, or at least for our family.
Matt, as well as members of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), invited me to write 500 words or so about Tracy Councill, an Art Therapist for Childhood Cancer kids and their families and founder of her program, who will be receiving the DAR’s Mary Smith Lockwood Medal for Education on October 17. I was thrilled to do so and quickly sent off my copy.
I am not sure who else was invited to write glowing recommendations about Tracy except Matt and me, but what we wrote went up the chain of command, which morphed into writing yet another letter for the more prestigious Mary Smith Lockwood award.
From the DAR’s blog:
The Mary Smith Lockwood Medal for Education honors an individual who has shown outstanding achievement through service and leadership in promoting education outside the formal education process, such as improving literacy for adults or children or teaching English to foreign-born individuals.
Art Therapy was a life-saver for both Olivia and Ryan as the battle with childhood cancer attempted to steal their youthful joy. Not with Tracy Councill at the hospital with her calm, caring, and kind demeanor she bestowed on every kid in the clinic - siblings and patients alike. She enveloped them wholeheartedly by engaging them in art projects, large and small. The kids could draw with crayons, markers, or pencils or throw a piece of clay on the pottery wheel she had positioned (squeezed) into her tiny space within the Peds/Onc clinic at Georgetown University Hospital.
Since Bill and I are of Eastern European descent, I could never become a member of the DAR. Their members are comprised of many backgrounds and interests. Still, all share a common bond of having an ancestor who helped contribute to securing the independence of the United States of America. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible to join.
Meaningful words matter so much that Bill, Ryan and I are thrilled to be invited to the event next week. Incidentally, the day Tracy accepts her outstanding award on October 17, it will be 28 years since Ryan was originally diagnosed with childhood cancer.
We are excited for Tracy and have never been inside the DAR. We can’t wait!
Congratulations, Tracy Councill!
Photo below from a TK Red Carpet Event in 2018