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Have Cart, Will Create

To help keep patients engaged, creative and relaxed during their treatment, St. Paul’s hemodialysis staff developed a pilot art program, funded by St. Paul’s Foundation.

When decreased kidney function requires a person to begin hemodialysis treatments, life changes dramatically. The huge amount of time spent on a dialysis machine means personal independence suddenly plummets. Regular treatments, as often as three or four times a week and up to four hours a stretch, becomes their new normal.

“The Art Cart helped me through the tough times. When you have kidney disease, you feel alone, especially as a younger patient. I want to go on and help people, in the same way I’ve been helped.”  Rozelle Callangan, 23, who was born with kidney disease and spends as many as 16-hours a week at St. Paul’s renal unit.

Enter Art Cart, which debuted on the dialysis unit in December 2015.

Since Art Cart’s launch, 20 patients, many who never knew they had artistic talent have become the proud creators of paintings, puppets, dream catchers, rainmakers and more, showcasing their wares on the unit in an art show last fall.

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