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Darien Cancer Survivor Uses Art To Celebrate Life

Darien native Jamie Buchanan doesn't remember much from the time that she spent in the hospital four years ago with a brain tumor. But one of her memories is of doing art projects with her child life specialist. After being discharged, cancer-free, she continued to work on creating colorful and uplifting art , which she now sells to raise money for cancer organizations.

"When I started, it was a very healing experience, a way of turning the negative into the positive," she said. Buchanan mixes all kinds of mediums, such as colored pencils, markers, paints and glitter, and likes to throw in inspiring quotes from a range of sources.

The tumor put pressure on her brain, so she doesn't have a good memory of her time with cancer. It started with many headaches in January of her freshman year of high school. One day she went up to her mom Andrea and had no idea who she was. "That's when it hit her that it wasn't just a sinus infection."

Her mom's endless support is the only other thing Buchanan can remember of the two months she spent in the hospital after her diagnosis. "She was always by my side, she never left the rooms. I think her strength penetrated through me and helped make me better," Buchanan said.

In mid-May, she was selected to take part in proton beam radiation at Mass General in Boston, which targeted the specific area of her brain the tumor was impacting. A month and a half later, she was cancer-free.

As a celebration of her four-year anniversary of being cancer-free, she is hosting an event at the Depot on June 25. The event, called "A Celebration of Life," will feature family activities and an auction of her work , with proceeds benefiting the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults .

Do you know anybody in Darien with an inspiring story? Tell us about them in the comments below, on Facebook and on Twitter .

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