PEI

'A way...to remember being happy:' girl's art raises funds for cancer society

Anisha Rajaselvam painted when her mother had cancer and now sells the paintings to raise funds for the P.E.I. Cancer Society

A nine-year old's colourful paintings for her mother are now fundraisers for the P.E.I. Cancer Society

Anisha Rajaselvam said she made sure the paintings would make her mother smile. (Angela Walker/CBC)

Anisha Rajaselvam made sure she had a new painting ready every time her mother came home from the hospital.

The nine-year-old was sure the colourful works would make her mother smile in the midst of her battle with cancer.

Today, her mom is doing fine and Anisha — now 13 — has donated her paintings to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society on P.E.I.

"I think it was just a way for the both of us, the three of us really, to remember why we were being happy," Anisha told Mainstreet P.E.I. on Monday, referring to herself, her mom and her father.

"Because I painted a lot of things that the three of us loved."

Colourful artwork shows scenes from life

Anisha's paintings are colourful depictions of her family, snowy lake scenes, animals and dancers.

She said they were inspired by travels and "noticing the little things."

While the family lives in Halifax, the artwork arrived on the Island through a former colleague of her mom.

Christian LaCroix, a member of the P.E.I. Relay for Life Dream Team, said he used to work with Anisha's mother at the University of Dalhousie. Now LaCroix teaches at UPEI.

He said he was impressed by the artwork when he first saw it. He also knew that Anisha had donated paintings before to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society in Nova Scotia.

"I thought the story and how to deal with cancer comes in very many different ways," he said.  

"And I thought this one was very special."

Raising money in P.E.I.

Anisha, who still paints, said she was excited to continue the project outside of her province.

She said she must have created over 30 individual paintings at the time.

Seven of them are now sold in a bundle for $10 and can be bought by contacting Lacroix directly at lacroix@upei.ca.

"I am really happy that I found a way to use something that cheered one person up to raise money for many more," she said.

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With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.