SAJ Contributor and Breast Cancer Survivor Honored by Eli Lilly in Indianapolis

Lilly Day of Giving Mural 002edit.jpgRecently, SAJ contributor and Colorado resident, Dr. Penny Hamilton, a six-year breast cancer survivor, had her “Oncology Odyssey” art entry selected by a nationwide arts panel as part of the Eli Lilly, Inc. “Lilly Oncology on Canvas — Expressions of a Cancer Journey.” Cancer survivors are invited to submit paintings, depicting how they felt as they progressed from diagnosis to cure.

SAJ writer, Penny Hamilton, points to the aviation heritage display at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) which describes the many contributions of Col. H. Weir Cook for whom the spectacular terminal in named.

Hamilton’s abstract or modern art is described: “Colors depict my odyssey through the sea of emotions cancer and survivorship evoked. White is the innocence of not knowing you soon are going to be in a fight to live. Gray is the angst and somber moments as you reflect on the diagnosis. Black conjures fear, dread, and grim facts as you choose a winning treatment plan. Red depicts my fury and anger at the realization that I must muster the energy and resolve to beat cancer. Yellow portrays hope and confidence as my treatment and recovery progressed. Gold is for the precious gift each new day becomes to a survivor.”

Her award-winning modern art was transformed into a mural by Eli Lilly employees in downtown Indianapolis on October 10 as part of the “Lilly Global Day of Giving.”

At the completed mural, hundreds of Lilly employees watched Hamilton sign her mural in the lower right-hand corner with the word: Penny with a heart. Then, there was a dedication ceremony and a plaque was affixed to the wall beside the mural. The words on the plaque are her words that you see quoted above. Located on a popular walking and biking trail near Lilly Corporate headquarters, it is part of the community beautification project.

All these events were featured on the front page of The Indianapolis Star and on Channel 13, the NBC-TV affiliate. As guests of Lilly, Penny and Bill Hamilton flew into Indianapolis-IND where they explored the new Col. H. Weir Cook terminal and updated aviation facilities. Opened in November, 2008, it was the largest civic development in the history of the city of Indianapolis.

With eight commercial airlines, the second-largest Fed-Ex operation in the world, and a strong business and general aviation services, IND employs about 10,000 every day with an annual economic impact of $4.5 billion in the region.

The new terminal is named after Harvey Weir Cook, an American fighter ace in World War I and pioneer in civilian aviation in the United States. He helped pioneer the first transcontinental airmail service.