At 23, Rachael Leisy says she has a motto – be "Thankful for Life."
She has great reason to be just that. In October 2006, she had a bone marrow transplant, but two years later the engrafted cells went on the attack. That’s when Leisy began receiving treatments every two weeks at Blood and Marrow Transplant to fight a disease in her lungs.
She's one of several patients in BMT at the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Care Pavilion using art to channel their emotions during a difficult time. Called Tiles of Hope, the arts-in-healing program encourages BMT patients to express their feelings as they go through the transplant process by painting them on ceramic tiles.
During a recent tile-painting event, Leisy recruited her parents to help paint a set of tiles. Each painted one word from her "Thankful for Life" motto on a tile. "I think it's wonderful to take time to be together, be creative, do something fun and not think about blood cancer, which patients with cancer think about every day," Leisy said.