My Story: Healing with Art

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Artist with inspiration for "Find Squirrely" FootsieStool

By Valerie Gibbons

I have lived in Rockford, Illinois most of my life. In 2007, at age 46, I underwent a bone marrow stem cell transplant for acute myeloid leukemia. Soon after, I developed chronic graft vs. host disease, an autoimmune disorder resulting from partial transplant rejection. One of the side effects was depletion of tears. In 2010, I was fitted for special prosthetic lenses to help restore my lost vision and minimize eye pain. That is when I began doing decoupage and collage art for emotional therapy.

Since then, I have been on a mission of mirth to create and share my whimsical shoed creations. Each one is uniquely themed, colorfully detailed, and guaranteed to make you smile. In 2016, I started the FootsieStools™ Ambassador Program to bring the healing power of whimsy to hospitals and organizations serving children and adults with cancer. I am grateful for every sight that inspires me to continue.

Click here to read more in our inaugural newsletter.

Valerie Gibbons