The Colony teen helps others cope with cancer in the family

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by DEBBIE DENMON

WFAA

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 6:37 PM

THE COLONY — Fourteen-year-old Sarah Mussey knows what it's like to suffer in silence, so she's giving other kids an outlet through art to express themselves while watching a family member fight cancer.

We watched Sarah cut out stars to paste on her painting.

"What everyone says is, 'Keep wishing on a star,' so it kind of gave me that thought that there is a possibility that dreams can come true," she said.

The teen made plenty of wishes when her mother, Mary Cay Mussey, was fighting Stage II breast cancer two years ago, and no one knew if she would survive.

She did, crediting an art program for patients that helped her heal emotionally.

But there was nothing for the children of cancer patients until her daughter reimagined the idea by starting Courage From Kids.

"They get like what you are worried about, unlike the other ones who are like, 'What are you worrying about? It's just cancer, they can heal it.' But it's not really like that," Sarah said.

In fact, Sarah's sister Erin didn't cope very well with their mother's illness. She was like most people who hear the word "cancer" and immediately associate it with death.

"One of my girls did ask, 'Are you going to die?' and it was really a tough question to come out with," Mussey said. "Then Sarah got the opportunity to talk with others who had had somebody with cancer, but it was heart-wrenching."

She is proud her teen is giving back by giving other children a chance to say what's on their minds at a time when they feel helpless.

"It says to never top fighting, because you never should really give up," said middle school student Taylor Thompson as she threw glitter on her artwork.

Taylor's grandfather has leukemia, and just stopped taking his medication because it isn't working. "I never really thought about him leaving me, so I try to be happy for him."

Creating art in his honor helps. "It helps a lot, because I don't really talk about it a lot or really express it," Taylor said.

The children leave class feeling a little lighter, leaving behind artwork that will be displayed at The Colony's upcoming Relay for Life. The 12-hour cancer walk starts at 7 p.m. on May 4 at the Five Star Athletic Complex in The Colony. There will be a "Courage From Kids" team made up of young people in the art workshop.

Another free art workshop will be offered this Saturday, April 28 at the The Colony Recreation Center.

This good deed Sarah Mussey started not only helps others, but will help her earn a Girl Scouts Silver Award for community service — an award deserving for the kid from The Colony who doesn't want any other kid to have to cope with cancer alone.

E-mail ddenmon@wfaa.com

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