50th Anniversary Artist Feature - Stefanie N.

"Hair loss was never a challenge for me, I knew it would grow back."

-           Stefanie N.

This month we’re grateful to showcase products inspired by artwork from Stefanie, age 53. Stefanie received an early-stage bone cancer diagnosis in 1982 at age 11. She underwent an 18-month course of chemotherapy, and fortunately, the cancer did not recur. However, it did result in an adverse impact on her hearing. In 2017, Stefanie faced another health challenge when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but she is now cancer free and in recovery.

As a pediatric patient at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, Stefanie enthusiastically engaged with the Children’s Art Project (CAP). Participating with CAP brought her joy and allowed her to connect with fellow young patients and new friends. Among the art crafted during these sessions, her favorite remains the stocking design. In high school, Stefanie pursued her passion for art by taking an art class. Participation in the class gave Stefanie valuable knowledge and was enjoyable. She also volunteered with the Children's Art Project from 2004 through 2021, and if she moves back to Houston her hope is to continue volunteering.

Throughout her time at MD Anderson, Stefanie's boundless energy and unwavering determination
shone through. Her medical team even commended her for her remarkable vitality. She
was featured in one of the Children's Art Project commercials, an opportunity she attributes to her positive attitude and exuberant energy. Stefanie loved uplifting her fellow patients who were navigating their own treatments. Hair loss, a common side effect of cancer treatments, never deterred Stefanie. She knew that hair loss was only a temporary result of her illness and would eventually grow back.

Today, Stefanie lives in Cocoa Beach, Florida. She previously worked in the retail industry, but temporarily paused her career when she and her husband relocated to Cocoa Beach. Her husband is a scheduling engineer on the ML2 Launch Tower project for the SLS program. NASA's mobile launcher 2 (ML2) is the ground platform structure that will launch Space Launch System (SLS) Block 1B and Block 2 configurations to the Moon, allowing the agency to send astronauts and heavy cargo to the lunar surface as part of NASA's Artemis program.

Stefanie's inspiring life, marked by her resilience in the face of health challenges, serves as a testament to the power of determination and a positive outlook. As we express gratitude this month and every day, we are thankful for the strength within people like Stefanie.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Children's Art Project. Each month, we’ll provide updates, promote survivorship, and share uplifting stories about what makes Children’s Art Project special.