PORTLAND, Maine — Erin McGee Ferrell is an artist who is using her art to help others who are also battling breast cancer.
She started a project called Pirate Crew Paper Doll Collection featuring dolls like Ms. Mastectomy and Ms. Chemotherapy.
As a child, Erin loved to make and play with paper dolls, a love that was rekindled after her mastectomy. After her surgery, Erin was eager to get back to her art studio but unable to raise her arms higher than her shoulders or lift more than a pound made it difficult.
"I was limited so I got out small brushes and little bottles of ink and paper dolls were what came out of it," says Erin.
Her childhood hobby turned into dolls that represent her life's fight and hopefully can help patients navigate life through and after breast cancer.
"They are people who are scared, tattooed, with lopped off pieces. And if they get a little bit nauseous, they're kind of dizzy with the sickness of seasickness, the chemo, and medication, but because of that also become resilient and fierce," Erin says describing her creations.
Erin foresees a practical use for her dolls as a way to show patients what to expect and guide them through the complicated process of fighting breast cancer. Her goal is to have the paper dolls in production in one year.
"This is something that is not out there," Erin says other breast cancer survivors have said they want a paper doll series that is also a breast cancer education series.
To donate to her Pirate Crew Paper Doll Collection go here.
Erin is raising money to present her project at a breast cancer conference next year in Florida.