Meet Thea Breite

A donation to Smith Center provides programs like Cancer Support Group & Retreats for people facing cancer in our community. 

#MyStoryShared: Art brought me a new identity.

In January 2017, I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Three months later, my wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. As a wife and mother of three children, the effects were devastating, sending our family on an emotional journey we never imagined possible.

Following our search for information, I came across Smith Center for Healing and the Arts’ Cancer Retreats. Attending this retreat not only opened my eyes to the incredible work Smith Center does every day, but also introduced me to the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery.

During my treatment, I began taking walks in my neighborhood with my camera, photographing the world around me. As I walked, searching for hope and strength, trees called out to me. Their strength, resilience, rootedness and flexibility became my inspiration. I photographed shapes, textures, scars, even fungi, realizing that the images of the trees reflected the story I was living.

When my world was rocked by cancer, I found a new creative outlet that has been so rewarding. Through Smith Center’s Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, I have not only had the great pleasure of exhibiting my first ever art show but have embraced a new facet of my identity: artist.

#MyStoryShared represents how Smith Center has changed my life for the better. Techniques I learned at my Smith Center retreat, my art and exhibiting my work at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery gave me a sense of purpose, boosted my confidence, and provided an opportunity to inspire others searching for healing through art.

Thea Breite
Cancer Survivor

PS: Smith Center impacts thousands of lives each year, like mine and you can too. With a tax-deductible donation, you have the power to help change lives and make a difference for those living with cancer.

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