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Steps of support

An opportunity for everyone to support Community Hospice will be taking place on Saturday, June 16 at their 11th Walk for Hospice at the University at Albany. Photo Submitted.

An opportunity for everyone to support Community Hospice will be taking place on Saturday, June 16 at their 11th Walk for Hospice at the University at Albany. Photo Submitted.

— “It’s very holistic care. We really help serve the patient on a very customized plan of care for that person and the family – for mind, body and spirit,” said Manny.

The image to be put on T-shirts for the walk represents what Community Hospice is all about and was created by Malta artist JC Parker.

Parker, 62, was asked to create an image to be paired with part the poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye, “Do not stand at my grave and weep.” The image portrays birds in flight and surrounds the beginning of the poem that reads, “When you awaken in the morning’s hush…”

Parker has been painting professionally for the past eight years. Before a career in art, he owned a successful management consulting business — one he gave up to paint. The painting career was a turning point and the result of some pretty bad news, however.

While trying to find the source of back pain he was experiencing, his doctor recommended and MRI. It was then that he found out that his “aorta was ready to explode.” On top of that, doctors also discovered that he had kidney cancer.

Following surgery and a two-year recovery period, he found that his mind “wouldn’t work quick enough because of all the drugs” – but he could still paint.

“It was sort of like I was supposed to paint my entire life,” he said. He looks to “capture a moment in time, or the spirit” and his work evokes emotion through images that go beyond what is obvious to the eye.

Parker said that Community Hospice is a “very worthy cause” and added, “It’s a real honor to be able to provide the image to them.”

For more information about the walk, visit communityhospice.org and for more on Parker’s art, visit jcparkerfineart.com.

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