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Adria Di Maria, Family Member, Carcinoid Cancer
The Song Bird Keeps Singing
Adria Di Maria was inspired by her daughter Marlena to create the oil painting The Song Bird Keeps Singing featured on the April page of the 2011 Expressions of Hope calendar. “On the morning of Tuesday, April 27, 2010, at the age of 35, [Marlena] was diagnosed with a rare appendiceal carcinoid cancer,” Adria recalls. “When she told me the news, I was shocked and saddened. Our children are not supposed to have life-threatening illnesses. I felt like my role as a mother had taken a turn into uncharted territory.”
Though the experience was painful, Adria stayed by Marlena's side through her surgeries. “While [her most recent] surgery was successful, the recovery was difficult, with a slew of minor complications which wore down her spirit. My song bird seemed to have lost her voice. I reassured her that this latest challenge could be metâ¦with grace and dignity. I reminded her that she needed to tap into her inner strength, which I knew well she had.”
Adria's painting of a song bird reaffirmed her daughter's renewal and sense of hope as she healed. Marlena continues to face daily struggles, but has become an inspiration for other cancer sufferers by writing about her experience on her blog http://channelingjackieo.blogspot.com (recently featured by the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation).
“Through her writing, my little girl has gotten her song back,” Adria said. “I am proud and very grateful.”
More information about the Expressions of Hope calendar is available at www.cancer.net/expressionsofhope.