While attending a painting seminar in Maryland last summer, Doyle Glass received an unexpected phone call from his wife, Kim.
Though six months earlier Kim’s doctor had reported a normal mammogram, her general practitioner discovered that she, in fact, had breast cancer, later determined to be Stage III. “It was like one of those deals when I was standing on a dock and you sink,” Doyle said of hearing his wife’s unexpected news.
Angered by the missed diagnosis by Kim’s doctor, Doyle and his wife jumped quickly to action, searching for an immediate solution to a disease which the American Cancer Society estimates will lead to more than 226,000 new diagnoses of invasive breast cancer in U.S. women in 2012.
After researching the best and most immediate care possible, Doyle suggested looking into the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. On a Thursday afternoon around 4:30, the Glasses called the center located in downtown Louisville and were instantly booked for a visit the following morning. From there, a plan was laid out for Kim’s chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, among other procedures. “This cancer center got on it fast with a comprehensive approach,” Doyle said.
While Doyle had been able to help his wife find the best approach to fighting cancer, he wished there was more he could do. “As a husband of somebody who has breast cancer you feel kind of helpless, because you take care of your wife and your family and all that, but you can’t go in there with a sword or a gun and fight it.”
Still, Doyle knew there must be some other way to help. Using his abilities as a professional artist, he approached the James Graham Brown Cancer Center about hosting an art fundraiser for the place that continues to do so much for him and his wife.
Though renowned for his impressive bronze statues, Doyle, a Texas native, decided to focus on painting to create a collection for auction. Since December of 2011, Doyle has produced still lifes, figures and landscapes using oil on linen. On Nov. 16, he’ll auction off nearly 40 of his best pieces ranging in size from 6×6 to 16×20 at the Art To Beat Cancer 2012 Benefit, held at the Green Building, 732 E. Market St., from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. All sales of the event will benefit the M. Krista Loyd Resource Center at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, an invaluable facility to Kim and countless cancer patients.
“Everything that we offer (at the resource center) is free, whether you have insurance or whether you don’t,” Diane Warner, the oncology clinical patient information coordinator, said of the facility, which is fully funded by grants and gifts.
From food to parking and transportation, the M. Krista Loyd Resource Center provides patients and families with services, information and support. The center also offers wigs, head coverings, camisoles, bed wedge pillows and massage and art therapy, along with programs, classes and support groups, many of which are joined with Gilda’s Club. About twice a month, the resource center will host Fun Fridays with games, edibles and drawings to further build a positive atmosphere for those facing trying times with cancer. “This is a fun place, too,” Warner said. “It’s just not a place where you come and get treatment. We try to make it a place where (patients) can learn and relax and enjoy something here at the Brown besides just their treatment.”
When it comes to the Glasses’ cancer journey, Doyle is all too familiar with the importance of a place like the resource center. Doyle’s father died of cancer in 1997, just four months after he finally agreed to visit a doctor, who determined he had Stage IV lymphoma. “You need a supportive place to say, ‘OK, it’s going to be fine. This is what we have to do, and you need to come in and get it done, and feel positive about it,’” Doyle stressed.
Doyle has been extremely appreciative of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center’s willingness to go the extra mile, and, as a result, he’s proactive in promoting the facility, which he aptly describes as a “jewel.” “I’ve been thoroughly impressed and I feel real passionately about helping it out and getting the word out to people and knowing what kind of good they can do to help fight cancer for local people,” he said.
To both thank the center for all it has done for his family and help continue its mission, he hopes to raise $20,000 by selling each of his paintings at the Art to Beat Cancer benefit. With an anonymous donor having agreed to match the amount each painting is sold, Doyle could very well achieve his fundraising ambition.
“So many members of my family have been hit with (cancer), and I’m tired and you want to fight back,” Doyle said. “That’s kind of my personal feeling. You want to help the people and you want to beat the enemy. … That’s kind of the way I approach it and it feels very good for me to feel like OK I’m going to hit the enemy today, I’m going to knock it back a few. With this (benefit), it’s just going to be really personally gratifying for me to see people come support the cancer center and to get this exposure (for the center) and get the donations. … It’s going to feel very gratifying to punch cancer.”
For more information on the Art To Beat Cancer 2012 Benefit, visit www.uoflhealthcare.org/ulh-news/art-to-beat-cancer. To learn more about Doyle Glass and his artwork, visit www.doyleglass.com or “LIKE” his Facebook page.
Contact writer Ashley Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org, 502.498.2051.