"Backbone" Faux Leather Wallet
"Backbone" Faux Leather Wallet
Inspiration: Donna Dang
Donna's Twist on Cancer: Most of my experience with cancer up to David's passing was through my work as a cancer biologist, working in both breast and prostate cancers. Having it affect me so intimately was never something I had never imagined, so in many ways, I had always felt that I was fighting cancer, both in the lab and outside of the lab with David (also a cancer biologist). Having this experience as a young adult reshaped my entire life and it also changed what I valued in the type of work that I wanted to do. David's diagnosis inspired me to change careers and move away from academic research and into philanthropy where I wanted to work in a nonprofit, but still utilizing my scientific background. I am currently a program officer, where I run funding programs that include cancer research. I have finally found fulfillment in my work, and I feel that much of David's legacy is still carried through the work that he did, but also through my work in nonprofit.
Artist: Suhani Amin
Artist Statement: Donna, my Inspiration, was the primary caregiver for her fiancé, David. He had aggressive cancer in his spine and passed away in October of 2020. While they were surrounded by darkness—a heartbreaking diagnosis amidst an isolating pandemic—the world Donna and David created for themselves was quite the opposite. Their bubble was warm, supportive, and golden. In my painting, I have tried to encapsulate this: a dark world, a shining bubble, all focusing on the spine. Not only because that's where the cancer was, but because this spine, this backbone, is symbolic of what Donna and David are to each other. Donna was David’s support as he fought his cancer, and he now, in so many ways, has become her support as she moves forward. His life inspired her to even change career paths and move into philanthropy. The sunset depicted in the painting is inspired by a photograph that David took on their final trip together to Pacifica, CA. It’s how I imagine them together, holding hands, looking into the horizon, and surrounded by the warm glow of the sun. For Donna, I wanted to capture this happy memory, this unquestioned support, and this unconditional love. Because she will always carry this love and support within her. As Maya Angelo said, "We can be. Be and be better. For they existed."
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