Cutest Story Ever? Artist Creates Fantasy Worlds With Young Cancer Patients


cancer childAt a time when popular fantasy books for middle school students focus on love triangles and sexy vampires, a new fantasy project calls back to the genre’s fairy tale roots.

Jonathan Diaz is an artist and photographer, but he’s also a father of four. Now, he’s letting children with cancer live out their wildest dreams in an amazing new art project called, “Anything Can Be.” Diaz works with young cancer patients to create stunning fantasy artworks based around their own dreams and favorite books.

On September 8, Diaz released his new book, True Heroes: A Treasury of Modern-day Fairy Tales Written by Best-Selling Authors. The book is an anthology of photographs and stories by renowned authors, and transplants young people into whimsical worlds. One photo features a young boy named Ethan dressed as Batman and standing on a rooftop.

“He wanted to be both Batman and a doctor,” said Diaz. “His mom said he had just felt such a connection with his own doctors. He knew that they were trying to save his life. He had so much empathy for them, and he wanted to save other people’s lives, too.”

Sadly, Ethan passed away, but the art project allows children like Ethan to escape their tragic circumstances, if only for a short while. Other children have been transformed into professional athletes, dragon riders, mermaids, and princesses. The project began when Diaz started creating colorful photo collages for his own children. Then, he realized he could give the same opportunity to kids in need of a little escapism.

“This is an amazing project,” says Scotty Sanders, Author, “Quest of the Keys.” “Fantasy allows the readers to take control, to imagine the possibilities versus being a victim of their circumstances. Fantasy can improve the lives of children by giving them hope when hope seems unattainable.”

Diaz says his ultimate goal is to help kids regain a sense of hope about their lives, to continue dreaming, no matter how dire their current situation may be. You can donate to the Anything Can Be project at the organization’s website, and theTrue Heroes book is on sale now.

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