The art of compassion

St. Jude patient Mack and his siblings, home from school and cooped up in these days of the coronavirus, are gathering around the kitchen table to draw pictures and write letters to send to nursing homes and hospitals.

Call it “hearts and crafts.”

St. Jude patient Mack and his siblings, home from school and cooped up in these days of the coronavirus, are gathering around the kitchen table to draw pictures and write letters to send to nursing homes and hospitals.

Brightly colored drawings of hearts and flowers. Kind words from caring kids. And the elderly and ill, the most vulnerable to the virus, on the receiving end of this joy.

Mack

“They all make me so proud,” said Amanda, their mom. “And they encourage each other.”

Imagine how uplifting it must be to get a drawing or letter from Mack, who lost his right leg to Ewing sarcoma but didn’t let the disease define him. He’s now a fifth-grader with a “robot leg” — his siblings’ term for the titanium prosthetic that replaced his amputated right leg — and plays in a community basketball league.

And though he’d rather be running up and down a court right now, instead of stuck at home, the sight of him sitting with his brother Jacob and sisters Sarah and Emily, creating art to cheer up others, is perfectly in character. Mack’s a member of his school’s A-Team, which gathers each month to make gift bags for teachers, resource officers, cafeteria staff and bus drivers.

“Mack is so compassionate and selfless,” Amanda said. “He’s always been like that.”

On the basketball court, they call that an assist. Mack must lead the league.

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