When Teresa Rogers’ former college roommate was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, she felt, in a word, helpless.
But compelled to do something, Rogers did what she does best–she put her feelings to canvas.
Now, the work that was originally aimed at encouraging a longtime friend is in the running to inspire thousands more on the cover of the Susan G. Komen 2016 calendar.
Rogers is one of three finalists for the honor, which will be decided upon by online votes through June 10. This is the first time the Susan G. Komen foundation has solicited artist submissions for its annual calendar.
“I had donated this print to various groups around town and someone saw it and suggested I submit it,” Rogers, a retired New Hanover County art teacher, recalled.
Her piece, “Hope 4 B,” named for her friend, Betsy Moore, is a deeply personal one–and so, of course, is the cause. Diagnosed at age 50 with breast cancer, Moore is now a proud survivor. But, Rogers said, her friend has never let her cancer define who she is as an individual.
“That’s a powerful statement,” Rogers noted.
Instead, she said, Moore has always considered her own harrowing journey as a worthwhile endeavor if it helps motivate other women to get regular mammograms and seek early detection.
Rogers held the lead in the calendar contest for the last week but recently dipped in the polls after the original voting deadline was extended.
As a finalist, her piece has already secured a month in the calendar. And win or lost, Rogers said she will consider it a victory.
“Just to have my work on such a major stage, and the fact that I’ve been able to share my work and Betsy’s story is overwhelming,” she said. “I was talking to Betsy last night and I told her, ‘we’ve already won because we’ve been able to share your story.'”
Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at (910) 772-6341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.