WICHITA, Kansas – Wesley Medical Center President/CEO, Hugh Tappan and Dennis Bender, Regional Vice President from The Arthritis Foundation, dedicated a painting by eight-year-old Summer Markley to Wesley’s pediatric unit this morning. The painting was put up for auction at the Arthritis Foundation’s Art for Arthritis event held this past July. The painting was purchased and donated by Hugh Tappan.
“The Art for Arthritis event affords an opportunity to showcase the creative talents of area young people who deal on a daily basis with the pain and limitations of juvenile arthritis,” said Dennis Bender. “Seeing their artistic expressions valued so highly by auction bidders also raises the self-esteem of these children,” added Bender.
The art benefit pairs individuals suffering from juvenile arthritis with a local artist(s) to develop a piece of artwork. The mentor artist works with the individual to help them depict what they might be feeling, things that inspire them, favorite colors, special images, etc. Summer Markley worked with two mentor artists – Tim Stone and Beth Post. Both Tim and Beth are working on BFA degrees in Art with a painting emphasis at Wichita State University.
Youth artist Summer Markley was just three- years-old when her symptoms first began in June 2006. She spent weeks in Wesley’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, suffering daily with rashes, fever, and excruciating pain in her hands, knees, hips, and neck. Under the care of rheumatologist, Timothy Shaver, MD, Summer underwent rounds of steroids and immune-suppressing drugs to battle the disease. Summer spent two years fighting the aggressive symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis before she went into remission.
“I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else except Wesley, they are top-notch, “said Summer’s mother, Jennifer Sandell, about the quality of care Summer received. “We are so thankful. Wesley’s physicians saved her life a couple of times.”
“Summer’s painting is a reflection of her – beautiful and inspiring,” shared Hugh Tappan. “Wesley’s Children’s Center provides the highest quality of care for children and we are so happy that she is doing so well.”
Summer just celebrated her 8th birthday and although the disease could reoccur, she is currently in remission and hopes to start taekwondo and ballet lessons later this year.
For more information about Summer or Wesley’s Children’s Center, please contact Susan Burchill at 316.962.3072.