Through Chalk Art, Patrice Brings Hope to Cancer Patients

Apr 19 2024

Chalk it up to boredom. That’s what Patrice Hoerster says led to her fascination in chalk art.

“It was July 4, 2023,” she recalls. “I ventured out into my driveway with a little chalk and drew a Happy Fourth of July message for anyone who would pass by my house. When I went to share the greeting with all my Facebook friends, I stumbled across a page for sidewalk chalk, and what I found there was mesmerizing!”

What started out as a simple form of entertainment grew into a full-blown hobby.

“I mustered courage to take my art to public places, calling my projects ‘sniper art.’ Nothing too complex so I could get in and out and leave a happy surprise for whoever walked by next.”

Several times, folks passing by would express delight in her drawings – comments that would bring her joy because her art was bringing someone else joy. So, Patrice started finding more ways to share her gift – providing birthday greetings for family members, leaving motivational messages for triathlon participants at the local YMCA and welcoming worshippers at church with inspirational illustrations. However, it still wasn’t quite enough.

“As 2023 came to a close, I asked myself, ‘How can I give purpose to this passion?’ Back on Facebook, there was a lady who routinely shared her art outside oncology clinics in her community, and I thought, ‘That’s it!’ As a HER2 breast cancer survivor myself, I set out to see if any of the oncology clinics here in Greenville would be open to the idea.”

It wasn’t long before she was connected with our team at Bon Secours, who was more than excited to take Patrice up on her generous offer. Now, she is helping bring inspiration and hope to patients at the Bon Secours St. Francis Cancer Center.

“I remember sitting in the waiting room, looking around and seeing faces filled with exhaustion, fear and uncertainty,” Patrice explains. “I know what it’s like to have to depend on others for transportation to treatments. I know the frustration of feeling the physical limitations of daily activities because of side effects of treatment or lingering lifelong issues, such as lymphedema. Now that I am far on the other end of the last of my treatments, I can appreciate the simple things that bring joy in unexpected places.”

Patrice is hoping patients going through a similar journey at the Bon Secours St. Francis Cancer Center will get joy from her art now. Her first masterpiece, a little bird on a cherry blossom branch, made its debut on April 15, 2024. However, it won’t be the last. Once Mother Nature decides to clear the canvas, Patrice will be back with more drawings.

“I am looking forward to leaving messages of hope, humor and humility for the visitors coming to the Bon Secours St. Francis Cancer Center. May they bring smiles to your face and warmth to your heart. Your community sees you. We care for you. I know your journey. You are not alone.”

Learn about the cancer care and oncology services we provide at Bon Secours.

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