Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Case Study #15 - Krissy Painting at Night

"Krissy Painting at Night" 30" x 24" Oil on Canvas.
Krissy Diaz was diagnosed with NF2 (the first case in her family’s history) at age 8. The early symptoms of NF2 are symptoms of dysfunction of the acoustic (hearing) nerve, which carries information about sound to the brain, and the vestibular nerve, which carries balance information to the brain. Consequently, hearing loss, ringing in the ears (called tinnitus) and problems with balance, beginning in the teens or early twenties, are generally the first symptoms of NF2.

Although tumors on the eighth cranial nerve are most common, persons with NF2 can develop tumors on other nerves as well. Other symptoms of NF2 may include facial weakness, headache, change in vision, and a lump or swelling under the skin caused by the development of a neurofibroma. In a family member at risk for NF2, a positive diagnosis is suspect if mild signs of NF are found elsewhere, such as one or two café-au-lait spots or a small lump under the scalp or skin.

Prep Sketch for 30" x 24" oil on canvas
Krissy has kept her love for art and earned her Master of Arts in Creative Arts Therapy as a means to give back and help others. She has developed and implemented Art Therapy programs at the Queens Museum Art Access program for deaf school-aged children in her graduate research study. She continues to provide art therapy with both hearing and deaf communities with mental illness and developmental delays. Kristina has also been proactive in the NF community by fundraising while running in many endurance events (Half Marathons, 10ks, 5ks) and connecting with the NF community by forming friendships and support. She is an advocate for similar causes such as St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the American Cancer Society because she understands on both physical and emotional levels what it means to struggle with chronic illness from a young age and maintaining quality of life.