Monday, March 21, 2016

Case Study #23 - James Racing in Uniform

"James Racing in Uniform" 30" x 24" Oil on Canvas. 2016
Prep Sketch
James Mitchell is currently known as "Oklahoma's 5k Running Firefighter." At 51 years old NF is not getting him down or even slowing his pace. James spent his first 50 years in Bristow Oklahoma and has NF1. The tumors didn't show up on him until his late 20's. He worked for Kwikset Black & Decker from 1983 to 2005. At the same time he was a volunteer firefighter from 1987 to 2008 when he retired from the fire department. One time, while living in Tulsa, James was playing basketball at the local YMCA as part of a work team when a few people began asking him questions. The questions centered around the bumps covering his body. Honestly, James didn't really know what they were from and all he could say was that it was something that both his father and grandmother also had as well. His grandmother has them all over her face whereas he and his dad have them more over their body. As far as his face or anything noticeable, there is only one on his chin. After the basketball game, the company doctor took a look at him and informed him that he did, indeed, have NF. Many years later, now being aware of the disorder, James started to notice more people in his town of Bristow living with it. James now works at the Sapula Atwoods which is a family owned store that deals in power tools, home repairs and lawn and garden supplies. One of Jame's co-workers who used to previously work there also had NF. A few years ago James walked in the Tulsa Oklahoma NF walk in his fire gear and with "NF Team Benny" on his air tank. Benny had wanted to be a firefighter but sadly never fulfilled his dream as he died from NF complications. Jame's hope is that Tulsa, Oklahoma will have another NF walk each year as he is eager to it again and raise awareness. .

Friday, March 11, 2016

Case Study #25 - Ashok Chatting with Friends

"Ashok Chatting with Friends" 30" x 24" Oil on Canvas
Ashok Shrestha, who is currently 54, lives in Kathmandu, Nepal and suffers from NF. In particular he has a an extremely rare facial tumor that can become a life threatening condition if not treated. When he was born, he did not have this tumor in the capacity as it appears today. It first appeared as a very small and negligible lesion, similar to a mole or skin tag at the corner side of his right eye. Later when he was one year old, his late father took him to have surgery at the Shanta Bhawan Mission Hospital in Nepal under the supervision of a visiting doctor from the UK. The second major surgery was undertaken at the Bir Hospital in Nepal when he was 12 years old. After that, he has undergone two more major surgeries in Patna, India.

Ashok has completed his Master in Commerce in Accountancy and has been working in the computer industry for many years. The tumor, however, has been increasing in size an
Prep sketch for the oil painting
(photo reference courtesy of Kristina Allen)
d turned into a huge problem which has landed him in this present situation. Ashok has no work or job anymore because of his face and has been harassed by people. After his father died, the whole responsibility of taking care of his mother is upon him. His mother was suffering from paralysis caused by a brain hemmorhage. His parents’ small property (house) has gone toward the expenses of his mother’s treatment and daily expenses for routine life to survive. Now, Ashok has the enormous problem of being totally bankrupt.

Since then he has been faced with physical problem of his facial tumor as well which has made eating and conversation problematic along with his economic condition Therefore Ashok has made a video on youtube to request to the public for raising funds so he can have a normal life in the future. Because it is so difficult to receive adequate care in Nepal, it is Ashok's goal to raise the funds necessary to permanently relocate to the United States, become a US citizen, and seek the surgical expertise of the highly skilled Dr. McKay McKinnon at St. Joseph's Hospital in Chicago, IL. Ashok has so far found good response and help from many people of entire world which as given him hope. He still needs a large amount for his treatment. He will need four major surgery and it has been estimated for $35,000 for first surgery and now he has collected around $15,000 so he is making good progress! Ashok is requesting for all people to help him by donating for his surgery.

Please watch the youtube video here:

Viewers can donate to help Ashok by donating here:

Or you may contact Ashok directly to see how to help:
Name: Ashok Shrestha
Address: Dhobighat, Lalitpur
Country: Nepal
Mobile /Viber: 9841 530 741
Skype: ashokshresha

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Case Study #24 - Loni Directing Cupids

"Lonit Directing Cupids" 30" x 24" Oil on Canvas
Prep Sketch for 30" x 24" oil painting.
Diagnosed with NF1 at the age of 6 months, Loni has undergone over 13 surgeries to correct the pseudoarthrosis in her tibia and to have tumors removed. It wasn't until 2013 that Loni discovered there were people in the world advocating to find a cure for NF. When she and her husband were starting to plan a family, they learned about the Cupid's Undie Run and their determination to End NF through raising money for the Children's Tumor Foundation. She immediately wanted to jump on the train and became the Race Director for Mason City, Iowa. Since Mason City's inaugural year in 2014, North Iowa has raised almost $190.000 ear marked for research to END NF.