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Marco, The Explorer

Marco was born with a broken heart. By 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 www.beadonor.ca anything is possible…even magic apples.


Drawing Hope is a purposeful project founded by photographer Shawn Van Daele. In this project, the dreams of children that was illustrated on paper wasbrought it to life by recreating them through the magic of photography.

Imagine having your dream to be a hero realized even for a moment? The experience must have been amazing for the kids and their parents.

See more photos below.

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Ryley, The Queen of Hearts

At 7 months old, Ryley’s life was saved by a heart transplant, made possible by an amazing donor. Without her transplant, Ryley wouldn’t be here to inspire others and be an advocate for www.beadonor.ca – an online registry to support the gift of life. Register today, and anything is possible. Even unicorns.

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Anniek, Hero of Sand Castle

Anniek was born with 5 Congenital Heart Defects that were diagnosed about 7 hours after se was born. At 17 days old she had open heart surgery to “repair” her heart defects, and also had 5 heart catheterizations. She currently has a feeding tube, and will need additional surgeries in the future. Despite her conditions, Anniek still knows that anything is possible. Even becoming the Hero of Sand Castle. 

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Alexandria, Queen of Candyland

Alex was born with a rare disease called Biliary Atresia, a maldevelopment of the common bile duct in the liver. At 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.

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David, Keeper of The Stars

David was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, meaning half his heart did not fully develop. His 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. 

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Dawson, Pirate of Trillium Island

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. Most 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.

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Kayla – The Forest Keeper

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. 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. 

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Kaleigh, Princess of Rose Castle

Kaleigh was diagnosed at 13 months with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, preventing her from moving around like a “normal” toddler should. For 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.


Find out more about the project I, how it all began and how you can be involved by visiting the Drawing Hope website.

[via drawing hope projectdemilked]


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