Thursday, April 30, 2020

Case Study #77 - Candice Preparing the EKG

"Candice Preparing the EKG" Oil on Canvas. 30" x 24"
Courageous and beautiful Candice is a lifelong survivor of NF. Born with a Neurofibroma facial tumor in 1969, she underwent over 30 surgeries to re-reconstruct her face. Recovering from those surgeries trapped under tight bandages were a hot muffled prison of pain. Healing meant embracing a face with new scars and stitches to manage a disease and move towards a symmetrical appearance. Loving herrself during such an extensive healing process was an effort of enormous physical and psychological endurance. It was during one of these times Candice began documenting her experiences and has been journaling about it for over 35 years. Instead of becoming bitter and angry at her circumstance it fueled an unstoppable passion for life and compassion for others. She has said many times that being born different is one of the truest tests in a human’s capability to love. The impact of Neurofibromatosis doesn’t define her but is a catalyst for her purpose driven life. Candice has used her life experiences as a patient to become a dedicated ER Nurse, inspirational speaker, triathlete and self proclaimed joyologist.
Prep Sketch for oil painting

Throughout her life she has dealt with ridicule from looking different and multiple challenges at times being temporarily blind and unable to speak. Despite what would be considered a life of painful suffering, Candice is one of the happiest humans on the planet. A devout Buddhist, Candice began meditating at age 14 to deal with pain caused by Neurofibromatosis. She often visualizes yoga asanas while in MRI machines where she’s had to lay for hours without moving. Her daily routine includes plant based nutrition, walking and yoga. She now shares her life experiences with adults speaking at schools and conferences bringing awareness for Neurofibromatosis and sharing healthy life strategies. 

Candice joined the efforts of the Children’s Tumor Foundation as a triathlete with the NF Endurance team and team captain for the Cupid Undie Run to continue efforts to support funding to cure. Her goal is simple, to leave behind a legacy of hope for children to not have to endure a life of surgery. That opportunity presented itself as Candice has also undergone diagnostic testing and donation of tumor tissue to progress towards a cure. She has spoken at many craniofacial conferences for All Children’s and Moffit Research Hospital in Florida. Candice’s energy and compassion continues to expand with her launch of the I am Beautiful, Some Assembly Required inspirational clothing line in 2019. “The message is that we are all under construction in some way physically or emotionally. Loving yourself through whatever process you are in is a key to self awareness and positive esteem.” Her goal and mission continues to help others accept themselves for who they are and propel research for a cure forward.

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