May 2021 – The Faris Foundation Quarterly


BRIGHTER DAYS GOLF CLASSIC | Play for a Golden Cause
Our inaugural golf event! Join us on September 20, 2021 for the First Annual Brighter Days Golf Classic, at the exclusive and newly updated Pecan Golf Course at Sweetwater Country Club. This event will raise funds for life-saving pediatric cancer research, as well as Art and Music Therapy programs in children’s cancer centers. We promise that it will be a tournament unlike any other you’ve ever experienced. Be ready for surprises, magic, and a whole lot of GOLD. Please visit the Brighter Days Golf Classic event page for more information about ways to get involved, sponsorships, volunteering, donating raffle items, etc.

ART PARTIES | Celebrating Creativity at Children’s Cancer Centers
This year, The Faris Foundation has been able to bring the Art Party experience to children at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital and Texas Children’s Cancer Center – thanks to your support, and thanks to the hard work of the staff at our partner institutions. At MD Anderson, the Medicine in Arts team curated a magical series of programs for “Creative Arts Week,” which included dance classes with the Houston Ballet, an on-demand concert from the Houston Symphony (playing requests directly from the audience!), an art-making party in honor of Vincent Van Gogh’s birthday, dance parties and jam sessions, and so much more. At Texas Children’s Cancer Center, TFF Art Therapist Leara Glinzak has been facilitating a series of seasonally themed Art Parties. Patients of all ages – from 20 months to 21 years – have delighted in the opportunity for creative expression!

May Art Party at Texas Children's Cancer Center.
February Art Party at Texas Children's Cancer Center.

The Faris Foundation has been working with the team at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital (New York, NY) to develop and sustain a unique Creative Arts Therapy Fellowship that serves pediatric patients and families, with a primary focus on hematology and oncology patients. The program is a significant step forward in bolstering the field of pediatric cancer creative arts therapy. The new Fellow will begin in mid-2021 – stay tuned for more updates from the Big Apple! This program continues the legacy of The Harv Toback Creative Arts Therapy Fellowship (2017-2020).

WHAT IS ART THERAPY? | An Introduction from Leara Glinzak
Wondering what art therapy even is? Don’t worry, our very own Leara Glinzak’s got you covered! Check out her handy primer over on the Texas Children’s Hospital blog

MAKING RESEARCH ACCESSIBLE | New Video Series Coming Soon 
The Faris Foundation has made a grant of $1.4 million, over three years, to support the HEROS 3.0 clinical trial, which brings a novel form of immunotherapy to children with sarcomas. In partnership with the research team and Texas Children’s Cancer Center, we will be releasing a series of short explanatory videos making this groundbreaking science – and your role in it – easy to understand. Our promise is to ensure that the research we invest in is made accessible to those who help make it happen. Stay tuned! 

DEAR EARTHLINGS | Shimmering Words from Faris D. Virani 
We recently published “Dear Earthlings…’It’s Still A Beautiful World,'” our second collection of Faris D.’s inimitable words shared with his Mommy during his three year journey with Ewing sarcoma. This special book is sure to become your next favorite read. Limited copies of the book are available for purchase online. All proceeds will go directly to support the programs of The Faris Foundation. 

2020 IMPACT REPORT | Year Two: Fostering Hope and Healing
On February 1, 2021 we released our second annual impact report, assessing the Foundation’s 2020 activities and outcomes. With your support and confidence in our work, we together, in an unprecedented year, were able to not only successfully grow and expand our programs, some in the most creative ways, but also to provide direct support to childhood cancer families. We were able to show up for children and families when other organizations were forced to scale back. You can find the full report here.

NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE | “Art Is Hope” Workshop
The Faris Foundation hosted a virtual, hands-on community service and art-making workshop as a part of the National Day of Service in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January 2021. You can still participate in this unique service opportunity! Check out the workshop on our website and download the free Pop-Up Art Card Kit to make your own work of art to share with the world!

Inspired by our National Day of Service event, students at The Kinkaid School created 300 pop-up art cards of love and hope, and delivered them to an assisted living home where they were put on food trays and scattered on the property for special finders!

SWAG STORE | Uplifting Gifts for Everyone
New items have been added to The Faris Foundation Swag Store! From t-shirts and totes, to our brand-new “Dear Earthlings” book, everything is made with love – and all proceeds go directly to the programs of The Faris Foundation. Perfect gifts for the grad in your life!

Signing off with a Twinkling Thought 
“Spring is nature’s way of saying, let’s party!”
– Robin Williams

Gold Star
Goes to Faris’ big brother Faraz Virani, who graduates from Rice University today!! You will always be my shining star.

Glow Baby Glow
We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Come visit or drop a line at Help us to share the magic by inviting others to join our glowing community.