The Drawing Hope Project

$5,449 of $10k goal

Raised by 58 people in 35 months
Shawn Van Daele  Kitchener, ON
I believe that ANYTHING is possible.  And I help children born or living with serious health conditions see their imaginations come to life. 

Your support of this project will help me to keep helping these kids and their families!  It will help pay for my flights, gas, supplies, gifts I bring them, props and more.

Here's an article by The TODAY Show:

One self-described "weird artsy guy" is giving sick kids and their families new reasons to keep dreaming big.

Through his Drawing Hope Project, Canadian artist Shawn Van Daele takes sick children's drawings and turns them into artistic, fantastical scenes using his photography and photo editing skills. The result? Stunning portraits of the kids living out their wildest dreams, never mind their earthly limitations.



Van Daele told TODAY.com that he was inspired to start the project when his dad was battling cancer. "I turned a drawing I did myself when I was six, for my grandmother, into a real-life photo, and that triggered the idea that I could do this on a broader scale, for other families who could use some inspiration in their lives," Van Daele said. "When you're up against battles like that, the idea that anything is possible is so important."

The Drawing Hope Project was off and running from there. Van Daele reached out to hospitals and support groups, who put him in touch with families who might be interested in his project. Once he created his first magical image (for Ryley, the "Queen of Hearts"), word spread quickly. Van Daele began working with children waiting for organ transplants, others with heart defects, cancer, "and every other kind of rare disease you could imagine," he said. He offers his art free of charge.



The response has been "overwhelming in the most perfect way possible," Van Daele said, and he's worked with about 30 families in Canada and the U.S. "Seeing the children's reactions to having their imaginations come to life is priceless "” and for the parents, seeing their children full of hope and life is a real gift that I've been blessed with being able to give them," he said.

In addition to raising spirits, Van Daele also wants to raise awareness about organ donation. Many of the children he photographs are waiting for a life-saving transplant. All his images include messages urging people to register for organ donation, with links to Canada's organ donor registry. (You can find the U.S. registry here.) Van Daele said he's received hundreds of letters and Facebook comments from people saying they've registered as an organ donor after seeing his pictures. "To know that this project has or will, technically, save lives "” wow," he said.



As for his own favorite image in the project, it's one of a boy named Jack, pictured as a superhero. Born with a rare liver disease, Jack received his first transplant when he was 7 months old. When Van Daele took his picture, Jack was waiting for a second life-saving transplant; he got it about a year and a half later. Van Daele told TODAY.com, "It really gets across the feeling of overcoming the battles these kids have gone through, and rising above whatever life throws at you."



Follow The Drawing Hope Project on FacebookTwitter (Shawn's personal) or Official Twitter & Instagram.

Read more about The Drawing Hope Project here:

The Huffington Post
The Daily Mail
and on the Press Page

Thank you SOOO MUCH for helping bring some HOPE to these kids and their families! xo Shawn
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 628 total shares
Update 11
Posted by Shawn Van Daele
34 months ago
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Update from the www.GoFundMe.com/DrawingHope Page:

"Tomorrow is the big day when I get to meet Isaac McFadyen for his magical "Harry Potter"-meet-Awesome photo shoot! We're meeting at SickKids Hospital in Toronto and doing the shoot right on site. Isaac travels there every single week for his life-saving treatment. You can learn more about Isaac at www.TheIsaacFoundation.com. MTV News is tagging along for the day as well! Once the story airs I will be sure to post an update and share the video.

Just yesterday, I launched a shop on the website at www.DrawingHope.ca/Shop featuring 15 different awesome shirts (in all sorts of colours) and hooded sweatshirts with the BELIEVE in Real Superheroes logo, BELIEVE Anything is Possible, and more. 100% of the proceeds from every sale goes to helping me continue doing this...plus, the shirts are just awesome! Some even have a cape on the back (serious superhero clothes!) Please check them out! http://www.DrawingHope.ca/Shop/

BELIEVE In Real Superheroes
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Update 10
Posted by Shawn Van Daele
34 months ago
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Such a wonderful update to share today...The TODAY Show aired Zach's shoot from last Thursday and the reveal on Friday...TODAY on NBC's Today Show! So honoured to have had the experience to work with Zach and his family...and to have it shared on national tv. xo - Shawn Watch the video at this link: http://www.today.com/moms/artist-helps-sick-kids-live-their-dreams-through-fantasy-photos-2D79396514
Zach, The King of Quesadillas
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Update 9
Posted by Shawn Van Daele
34 months ago
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Tomorrow is the BIG DAY when I get to turn Zach's dream of owning his own "World's Best Quesadilla Shop" into reality! And, we're lucky enough to have The TODAY Show tagging along for the day, and the reveal the next day. So incredibly blessed!!

Here's a behind-the-scenes video of my work with the Hampson Family...it truly captures what the project is all about!

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated so far and are helping me to continue on with this very special project. EVERY donation helps MORE than you know! For those of you who haven't yet, you can do so with just a few mouse clicks at www.GoFundMe.com/DrawingHope - THANK YOU! xo - Shawn
The Drawing Hope Project: Inside Story
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Update 8
Posted by Shawn Van Daele
35 months ago
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I put together a behind-the-scenes (sort of tear jerking!) video from my recent trip to the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. There was way too much magic not to share! This is just part 1 of 2, I will post a second video once I have all the photos from that day complete - 2 more to go! Thank you SO MUCH to the generous people who have been helping to support this project. It helps more than you know! xo - Shawn
The Little Heroes of Nevada (Pt 1 of 2)
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 628 total shares
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$5,449 of $10k goal

Raised by 58 people in 35 months
Created March 22, 2014
PM
$50
Patricia McPherson
24 months ago

In honor of Kaitlyn Lehman who is an amazing warrior against cancer. Your work is stunning as well as inspiring! Please keep it up!

$5
Anonymous
24 months ago
$20
Anonymous
25 months ago
DS
$50
Dax and Olivier Samson
30 months ago

Mika, Kiki Dax and Olivier wanted to say hi!

JH
$60
Julie Horta
30 months ago
$30
Anonymous
30 months ago
BB
$100
Barbara Bowie
30 months ago
LW
$100
Lana Wright
30 months ago

For Mika & Keaton, Happy Birthday Girls! We love you loads, C.L.A.N xoxo

$50
Anonymous
32 months ago
PL
$25
Pettinger Lauren
32 months ago

What a great way to make a child and their family smile. Keep up the great work.

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