by Tracy Rocca

Earlier this summer, a very bittersweet email came through my inbox. It was written with love and clear heartache by an old college friend, Tracy. Tracy is an incredibly accomplished artist. She resides in New Mexico, but her work is shown all over the country. In September, her work will be on exhibit at Winston Wacther in New York. Let me share a brief part of our exchange:

I’ve thought of you quite a bit lately as my niece was diagnosed with leukemia, and the repeated chemo treatments are taking such a toll on her little body. Camille is a beautiful 13 year old girl who’s trying her best to keep up her regular activities, but the side effects are too extreme. Your foundation has given me so much hope that someday the treatment for cancer won’t look like this. As you say on your website, having cancer will feel more like catching a common cold.

It’s hard to be so close to Camille’s situation and feel so helpless. I’ve wondered what I can possibly do, and then it came to me… The best thing I can do for Camille is give something to you!

I started a painting about three months ago, and it was the first piece I’ve made with no intention other than I knew it needed to be made. I’m in the throws of preparing for a show in New York so the timing for an extra piece wasn’t exactly ideal, but it was therapeutic somehow. Camille is a budding artist, and the piece reminded me of her. It also gave me time to process the magnitude of her situation.

My work is about hope. The very thing the Ben Towne Foundation represents. I would love to donate this piece in Camille’s name. Perhaps it could bring joy to someone fighting against cancer as a patient or researcher.

So earlier this month, Ben Towne Foundation was the grateful recipient of this absolutely gorgeous painting “Camille”.  We receive it with great appreciation and of course with hope that our work will do just that – change the way kids are treated and cured from pediatric cancer – so that all children, like Ben and Camille, will not have to endure this kind of horrible suffering. Thank you Tracy for using your incredible talent to honor your niece. Our thoughts and hopes are with your entire family, and especially Camille.

For more information on Tracy Rocca’s work you can visit her website at