People

Creating for a Cause


By Britni R. McAshan | May 2, 2016

Each year, thousands of teenagers are diagnosed with pediatric cancer in the United States. While they are technically still recognized as children, they have very different needs and experiences than children below the age of 13. At The University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, it is a priority to meet the needs of teens and have their cancer care tailored to their age, size and development.

Mariana Farach and her mother, Cindy Farach-Carson, Ph.D., vice provost of Translational Bioscience and Scientific Director of the BioScience Research Collaborative, founded MadJet7 organic candy company to not only make delicious candy but also to raise funds and awareness for important causes.

“My family’s background is cancer research, and it has always been a dream of mine to combine science and art for a cause,” Farach said. “After being a candy buyer for a large retailer, I partnered with my mom to create MadJet7 to support artists and scientific research.”

In addition to donating proceeds of MadJet7 candy to pediatric cancer research, Farach also organized an event with her childhood friends Gonzo247 and his wife, Caroline, to teach MD Anderson teenage patients about graffiti and street art through a partnership with Triumph Over Kid Cancer and the Child Life Program at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital.

This past weekend, MD Anderson patients were brought to the Graffiti and Street Art Museum of Texas to not only see Gonzo247’s work, but to create their own as well.

“I always love the opportunity to inspire the younger generation, and having the opportunity to work with this particular group is such an honor for me,” Gonzo said. “Hospitals are a sterile environment and you are usually not there by choice. I want to give these kids a chance to take their minds off of what they are going through and put them in a cool environment and make their day better, even if it is just for a moment.”

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family is impacted in that moment—their lives are changed. MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital recognizes the huge toll that this takes on a patient and aims to make their time in the hospital fun even though they are going through so much. Teenagers in particular fall into an interesting group because of their age and interests.

“Teenagers think differently and act differently than young children, and because of that they have different needs and wants,” said Quinn Franklin, manager of Child Life at MD Anderson. During the adolescent years, friends become increasingly important. Through experiences like this, the teens are able to spend time with their siblings and friends in a way that is fun yet safe and supportive of their potential medical needs.

After receiving a few lessons from Gonzo on the art and philosophy behind graffiti and street art, patients were able to create their own street art on vintage records.

“It’s really fun to get out of the hospital with people who are going through the same treatment as I am,” said Mia, a patient at MD Anderson. “I enjoy art, and learning about graffiti has been really cool.”

Tags |



Social Posts

profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

@Marissa_lara14 We're thinking of you, Marissa.

21 mins ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @jmills1955: Annual Surgical Jeopardy ⁦@BCM_Surgery⁩ Residents vs Faculty. The Faculty have never won! ⁦@DrRosengart⁩ ⁦@kmattox1⁩ ⁦@drml…

22 mins ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Veterans ask, VA answers: Questions on electronic health record modernization. https://t.co/IkeHFZV0zn via #VAntagePoint

44 mins ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

103-year-old WWII Veteran finally gets the recognition he deserves https://t.co/shJIdq9Ju9 via @CBSEveningNews

11 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

Watch to learn how we’re enhancing the ability of patients’ own T cells to fight cancer. #endcancer https://t.co/sFMz5eExco

11 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

Today’s rising #livercancer rates have been driven by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is linked to obesity.But our experts are working with @ScrippsHealth to study an #immunotherapy combination to treat liver cancer and save lives: https://t.co/uwAhLH51uk #endcancer

12 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

College of Charleston looks to send dozens of Valentine’s Day cards to Veterans https://t.co/fFqeaN3T7o via @ABCNews4

13 hours ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

Dorit Donoviel, Ph.D., discusses taking risks in science and what the Translational Research Institute for Space Health is doing to help people in space with @InnoMapHou. https://t.co/wbML42L9Wb #space #spacemedicine

13 hours ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @bcm_ocd: Check out this chapter by our researchers in new book Exposure Therapy for Children with Anxiety and OCD. "Efficacy of exposur…

15 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

RT @UH_Pharmacy: Breaking: With 100% chance of rain for Wed, Jan. 22, the "Shine A Light on Mental Health" fair from noon to 2 pm has been…

16 hours ago
profile_image

Texas Children's

@TexasChildrens

For the second consecutive year, Transplant Services at @TexasChildrens was named the top pediatric transplant center in the US, performing a remarkable 106 solid organ transplants in 2019. Learn more: https://t.co/iR6xO02dTC https://t.co/aOPfISdYhs

17 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

Which Shasta are YOU? Check out our new Instagram face effects, available now! https://t.co/POQlqNnN3W

18 hours ago
profile_image

Texas Children's

@TexasChildrens

Join us this Saturday, January 25 for All About HER! (Health, Emotions & Relationships) at @TexasChildrens The Woodlands! To register, visit: https://t.co/7dqWlmWZOg https://t.co/J84AYU8aZW

18 hours ago
profile_image

Texas Children's

@TexasChildrens

Feeling the love on #NationalHugDay 🤗 #AstrosCaravan @OrbitAstros @astros https://t.co/fqD7iWP7AH

19 hours ago
profile_image

TexasHeartInstitute

@Texas_Heart

Belly fat, more than excess weight, may be a factor in the risk for multiple heart attacks, according to a new study. Tackle that belly fat with a heart-healthy diet and exercise. https://t.co/8f3YKQOlPJ via @CNN https://t.co/bDi6EYVVHZ

20 hours ago