UC Davis Pediatric Patients Showcase Their Work at Annual Creative Arts Festival

SACRAMENTO -- A red carpet entrance fit for the stars rolled out for UC Davis pediatric patients all showcasing their artwork at the hospital’s second annual Creative Arts Festival.

Katie Lorain, an art therapist at UC Davis’ Children’s Hospital said the festival showcases “film, music and artwork created by our patients during their hospitalization.”

“It feels amazing, honestly,” said pediatric patient, Tessa Camilla. “I feel so blessed I get to share it with the world.”

Eighteen-year-old Camilla is one of dozens of patients being honored at this year’s event.

The hospital, along with a nonprofit organization of professional filmmakers, teamed up to create a documentary sharing Camilla’s battle with a chronic illness.

“It’s not talked about a lot and I feel like it’s very important to raise awareness about it,” Camilla said.

Camilla has been in and out of the hospital since she was born.

As she continues to fight four intestinal illnesses including Crohn’s disease.

“I’ve been sick since I was 2 weeks old, and I’ve had 70 percent of my intestines taken out,” Camilla said.

Lorain says allowing patients to share their creative talents helps create a sense of normalcy even though many are fighting the biggest battle of their lives.

“This is something their friends are probably doing outside of the hospital, and i think it brings a sense of mastery, they are creating a skill and they are reframing their role from a patient to an artist,” Lorain said.

While Camilla says she’s not letting her sickness hold her back, she’s looking ahead with big plans for her future.

“This fall I plan to move to New York, go to college, and pursue my dreams of film acting, and raise awareness for chronic illnesses,” Camilla stated.

Patients were honored with awards for their artwork showcased at the festival.

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