Several Steveston artists have donated art to rally around a woman, Kathy Dornan, struggling with ovarian cancer.
Her sister, Luella Cook, a Richmond resident, has been part of the team organizing the auction, dubbed the Kindness Online Art Auction.
Dornan’s mother died of ovarian cancer and, as a precaution, Dornan had her ovaries removed almost 10 years ago.
So, it was quite the shock when her doctor diagnosed her with ovarian cancer earlier this year, usually very rare after this surgery.
Cook, who knows some of the artists, is one of the organizers. She is joined by other siblings and extended family – including a brother living in Bali – who have been organizing the auction.
Dornan said this art fundraiser – and a separate GoFundMe campaign - has helped her “on so many levels.” Because she is used to being self-sufficient, it’s been humbling for her to accept help.
“I didn’t know so many people loved me,” she said.
Dornan’s cancer diagnosis came just a year after the death of her son.
She said she’s had to embrace a “whole catastrophe living” philosophy, a Buddhist concept, accepting “the good, the bad and the ugly” to make it through the things she’s living with.
There is always something positive, either a gift or a learning experience, that comes with life challenges, she added.
“I’m finding there are many unexpected gifts coming through all of this,” she said.
One is learning to take nothing for granted – whether it’s a good conversation, watching the snow fall or appreciating the beauty of living in the Lower Mainland.
Dornan started a nine-month cancer treatment regime in June.
Cook said she was so happy so many Steveston-based artists donated their artwork to help her sister, generosity she sees “again and again” in the community.
The fundraisers, the GoFundMe and the art auction, were set up to alleviate the strain of treatments, the cost of supplements and general living expenses from taking a toll on Dornan’s finances.
This has taken stress of Dornan so she can take time off work as a life, business and leadership coach, something that has been her job and her “calling” for 20 years.
The website was created by the team organizing the fundraiser.
“I was just blown away when I looked at it,” Dornan said. “Gratitude is almost too small a word.”
The artists have each donated a piece of art and that will be auctioned off between Nov. 12 and 26.
The pieces are starting at highly discounted prices and they can be bid on over the next two weeks.
The artwork ranges from paintings and drawings to photographs and handmade creations with all proceeds going to Dornan.
To see the artwork for sale, go to 32auctions.com/kindnessonlineartauction.