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04/11/2010


Art Inspires & Brings Happiness • by Lorrie Everitt


Art has always been a big part of my life ― I have a degree in art history, college diplomas in graphic design and computer graphics, and I worked for over 25 years with a number of major retailers in Canada and the USA in store design, window presentation, marketing and art direction. I always have a craft project (or two) on the go and encourage my daughters and our friends to craft with me.

A Frightening Diagnosis
In June of 2009 I became sick, very sick. My body was starting to lose movement and over a period of a couple of days and I became paralyzed from my right hand to my right shoulder. I was lucky and the doctors quickly discovered a "large spot" on my brain. I had to have brain surgery ― right away. Before surgery we were not sure whether the spot was cancer or a tumor or if I would ever be able to regain the use of my right hand and arm with the surgery. The surgery identified that I had a brain abscess ... I was very lucky not to have cancer ... and they could get rid of the infection with large doses of medications and a pump that was attached to my body 24/7 over the next four months. Although the surgery was a success, I was left without any movement in my right hand and arm. But I was determined to get my life back again. I couldn't imagine life without the use of my right hand as I am right handed. I couldn't image not being able to continue to create by hand ― painting, beading, scrapbooking, photography. I worked very hard in therapy to regain my movement.

The Healing Power of Art
I bought Kelly Rae Robert's book, Taking Flight one day when I was at a book store near one of the hospitals. I took that book with me to my many hospital and doctor/nurse visits. I figured out ways to involve art in my therapy. Honestly it made my home therapy "homework" so much more interesting and something that I looked forward to doing. I gave most of the pieces that I created during my recovery to the hospital staff and caregivers that helped me through the process. Art really does heal ... it inspires and it brings happiness.

Setting Goals
I'm doing well now and I have all of my movement back. I work out at the gym to build my strength and endurance. I am currently working on how to start my own creative blog (I am good at computer graphics but have no idea how to create a website/blog) and I want to set up a shop on Etsy to sell some of my art. My goal is to have that up and running before the kids are out of school for the summer. After that ... who knows?

Lorrie Everitt is a mixed-media artist who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She may be reached by e-mail at leveritt@sympatico.ca. To learn more about Lorrie, visit her blog at lorrieeverittstudio.blogspot.com.

Comments

Lorrie your blog is really artsy cool. Thanks for sharing your story and determination!

Go for it Lorrie! Three and a half years ago I didn't know how to create a blog and was toying with the idea of opening an Etsy shop too~both have changed my life and they will yours:)

Glad to hear you took a very scary diagnosis and turned it into a positive & therapeutic experience with the help of Kelly's book and your own determined spirit!

Thanks for sharing your story Lorrie. I can't imagine having to deal with that diagnosis. I, too, was deeply touched by Kelly's book. It helped me come through a very difficult time in my life! I just started my blog and set up shop on Etsy two months ago. You have a great start on your blog!

i am so deeply inspired by you, lorrie. and i'm so thankful our stories converged for a moment in time of healing on both sides. sending you eons of encouragement as you set up your etsy shop and blog!
warmly,
kelly rae

That is awesome Lorrie. So proud of you. Have you ever read the book, In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day? I know, very long title, but very very worth the read! It is about chasing your lions. Those things that try to hold us back from using our talents and following our passions in life. I think you would love it.
Can't wait to see your blog. Hope I can follow along when you get it up and running.

Hugs,
Tara

Lorrie, Your story shows your strength, spirit and your strive
to find yourself! I look forward to your blog! Your passion
for living; your guidance by art to find your authentic self is admirable! Thank you for sharing your story! I am so happy you are recovering and rebuilding your life~

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