Science, art combine for cancer fundraiser
By APRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent | December 06. 2013 8:59PM
Londonderry High School art teachers Michelle Dyson, Mimi Johnson, Suzanne Hjelm and Kelly Halstead have joined forces with a half-dozen students to create a series of paintings for display at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Natick, Mass., headquarters. Johnson, who has been raising funds for the organization since her sister's 2012 diagnosis, said she plans to produce cards with the paintings' images to benefit cancer research. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)
CUTLINE 2 (0028) Microscopic images of cancer cells inspired these paintings by Londonderry High School art teachers Michelle Dyson and Mimi Johnson. The paintings will be hung on the walls at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Natick, Mass. headquarters and will also be made into cards that will be sold to benefit cancer research. PHOTOS BY APRIL GUILMET
For Londonderry High School Art Teacher Mimi Johnson, inspiration came in the form of microscopic images — images Johnson first encountered while sitting in the waiting room at Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston.
Londonderry High School junior Sophia Simard works on a painting inspired by cancer cells. APRIL GUILMET
Intrigued, Johnson began researching the images further on the Internet.
Following Sullivan's July 2012 diagnosis, Johnson has been working hard to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, with plenty of help from her students and colleagues.
Soon, several of their students began asking about the paintings, wondering if they might lend a helping hand.
"I knew right away I wanted in on this project," said Simard, who noted a family member had battled cancer so the project hit pretty close to home.
Across the room Ellard and Angione were working on paintings of their own.
"After seeing what these teachers were doing, it was kind of a domino effect for us," said Ellard, a senior.
"I'm happy to say she's doing just fantastic," Johnson added. "We've been very lucky that treatment options have come so far. Because if this happened 15 years ago, we might have had a different outcome."
Indeed, plans for one fundraiser are already in the works.
The series of paintings will be photographed and made into postcards, which will, in turn, be sold to raise money for the cause.