Kids Dream come true – Drawing hope by Shawn Van Daele



Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.

Children are our future, and their mothers are its guardians. And yet, this year alone, more than half a million women will die in pregnancy or childbirth. Almost 11 million children will die before they reach the age of five. 4 million of them in the first month of life. Almost all these deaths will happen in developing countries.

Canadian photographer Shawn Van Daele is a founder of “Drawing Hope” project, which brings the wildest dreams of children living with serious health conditions to life by using their drawings as a guide. After the children submit their drawings to him, the photographer tries to have a photo shoot with as many of them as possible. Then, using his photo manipulation tools and skills, he makes the children into real heroes and heroines in world of their own imagination.


Kaleigh, Princess of Rose Castledrawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-19 (Copy)

Kaleigh was diagnosed at 13 months with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, preventing her from moving around like a “normal” toddler should.drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-20For several years, she required a weekly injection of a harsh narcotic, which finally put her into remission. Last December the arthritis returned but injections directly in her joints have helped. Despite the pain even most adults never know, Kaleigh still believes that anything is possible – even becoming Princess of Rose Castle.


Chance – The Captain drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-23 (Copy)

Chance was diagnosed with Pre B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in June of 2011. The next month his diagnosis changed to “rare, high risk”.drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-24His chemo treatments are expected to last until October 2014, but his spark and will to survive inspires his family and everyone around him. When you give Hope a Chance, anything is possible. Even becoming Captain of your very own ship.


Dawson, Pirate of Trillium Island drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-9 (Copy)

Dawson developed meningitis when he was only 2 months old, resulting in external hydrocephalus and a brain bleed, as well as an Ecoli infection in his kidneys and bladder.drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-10Most of his first year was spent in the hospital battling secondary infections. With mild Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida Occulta, as well as kidney and liver damage, Dawson spends part of his time in a wheel chair – but it doesn’t stop him from believing anything is possible. Even becoming The Pirate of Trillium Island.


David, Keeper of The Stars
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David was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, meaning half his heart did not fully develop.drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-4His first surgery was at 8 days old, which left him in cardiac arrest that was thankfully stabilized. For 8 weeks he stayed in the hospital, suffering multiple infections, later going into congestive heart failure before his 2nd surgery at 7.5 mo old. His third surgery happened 3 years later, helping prolong the life of his heart.  Though David may one day need a heart transplant, he knows that anything is possible. Even protecting the stars we all wish on.


Avery – The Butterfly Fairy drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-15 (Copy)

Avery as born with a cleft palate, underdeveloped lower jaw, feeding and breathing issues, spending her first 6 weeks at London Children’s Hospital. drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-16Her first surgery was at 2 months – a gastromy tube. Her cleft palate was repaired and she received ear tubes at 1 year old. She hasn’t stopped smiling through it all. Keep smiling, and anything is possible. Even fairies.


 Kayla – The Forest Keeperdrawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-7 (Copy)

When Kayla was 9 years old, she was diagnosed with Chron’s Disease an inflammatory bowel disease causing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, joint pain, swelling, fatigue and other symptoms.drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-8 (Copy)She takes daily medication to try and control the disease so she can continue to pursue her love of horses and riding. The ir no cure, but with continued research anything is possible. Even magical forests.


Alexandria, Queen of Candylanddrawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-5 (Copy)

Alex was born with a rare disease called Biliary Atresia, a maldevelopment of the common bile duct in the liver. drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-6At 1 month old she underwent a KASAI Procedure surgery, but 3 months later it was discovered she would need a transplant. Luckily, once she was listed, she received her gift of life after only 8 days of waiting. With her new liver made possible because of an organ donor, she is a true example that anything is possible. Even becoming the Queen of Candyland.


Marco, The Explorerdrawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-11 (Copy)

Marco was born with a broken heart valve.drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-12By the miracle of a heart transplant at 34 days old, Marco received the gift of life, only to face cancer at the age of 4 – which he heroically fought, and won. With determination and a donor family through anything is possible…even magic apples.


Ryley, The Queen of Heartsdrawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-17 (Copy)

At 7 months old, Ryley’s life was saved by a heart transplant, made possible by an amazing donor. drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-18Without her transplant, Ryley wouldn’t be here to inspire others and be an advocate for – an online registry to support the gift of life. Register today, and anything is possible. Even unicorns.


Dominic, The Time Travellerdrawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-13 (Copy)

Dominic was born prematurely with Down Syndrome, feeding issues, AND congenitive heart failure. drawing-hope-project-children-drawings-shawn-van-daele-14He’s had many surgeries, most recently on his heart to repair his atria. Dominic is non-verbal and is hospitalized many times a year as he battles recurring pneumonia. All this aside, with his contagious laughter and sense of adventure, anything is possible – even traveling through time to play with dinosaurs.