Group: Creating Hope

Creating Hope, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides art kits—Hope Kits—to patients and family members at the IU Simon Cancer Center.  Hope Kits contain watercolor paints and paper, color pencils, brush, palette, and other materials to inspire the artist in each of us.

Creating Hope was founded by Jeanette Shamblen who, during her treatment for breast cancer, discovered watercolors and found that creative expression helped her to feel better. Her parents, artists Tina and John Gianfagna, carry on her legacy of Creating Hope through their weekly presence at the IU Simon Cancer Center where they continue to provide Hope Kits and can be found painting watercolor bookmarks with patients and family members.

John and Tina help facilitate the Cancer Mosaic Workshops by guiding participants in creating watercolor images that illustrate themes that emerge from personal stories of the challenges people encounter when faced with serious illness.  As graphic and visual artists, their talent and expertise in creative expression is important from the technical aspect of creating images that become mosaic works of art; however, it is their personal experience in dealing with the serious illness of their daughter that causes them to be invaluable to the therapeutic nature of the Cancer Mosaic Workshop program.