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Island artist to share battle with cancer

By Staff | Apr 30, 2010

Stella Farwell an islander artist will be shairng her personal journey with ovarian cancer at St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church on Thursday, May 6

Stella Farwell, an islander artist, is known by many for her whimsical, yet sophisticated art work.

Her paintings and thought-provoking sculptures have taken her and work on many journeys.

But now Farwell who enjoys giving people who attend her exhibits something to think about and wonder is hoping to take people on a different kind of journey with her – her personal journey with ovarian cancer.

The 30-year artist is mustering all of her courage to share her battle with what she refers to as the “silent killer”.

Farwell will be sharing her thoughts and experiences at St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church on Thursday, May 6 at 1 p.m. The church is located at 2304 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

She hopes by speaking about her experience with ovarian cancer that more people will be enlightened and aware of the disease which often has few or no symptoms.

“It’s hard to diagnose,” she said. “There’s no screening.”

Farwell said she discovered she had ovarian cancer 2 1/2 years ago when she had went to a doctor for a hip-related issue.

Often ovarian cancer symptoms can be mistaken for other medical issues and not be revealed until later.

If the disease is diagnosed early, survival rates are considered good, Farwell noted.

But for Farwell her prognosis is not so rosy. She is already in a later stage of the disease. But ever the fighter and optimist, Farwell is pushing onward.

“i am planning to be a remarkable statistic,” she said.

Her personal journey which includes telling her husband Phill Urion she was sick to going through several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. losing her hair, creating pieces of art depicting the battle and watching new hair start to emerge again.

“It’s been remarkable in many ways,” she said. “It’s a rollercoaster of emotions.”

During her talk she will have copies of her art pieces portraying her journey through ovarian cancer. Of those pieces, one includes a six to seven foot tall sculpture called “Standing Free”. The piece represents Farwell’s courage in standing up to the disease.

The point of the program is to raise awareness. There will be no fundraising efforts. Farwell said she is interested in speaking with any group who would like her to share her experience with ovarian cancer.