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  • Writer's pictureBeti Kristof

Full Circle ~ My St. Jude Story

Artist Beti Kristof with her St. Jude sculpture from 2014.

Happy New Year 2015.

As amazing as it may sound, I just saw something on my resume that took me back to 1992… wasn’t that just yesterday?

For those of you born in 1992… I could be your mother.

Looking back as we do in a New Year, I thought about the first time I was asked by Niki Sands to paint a heart for the St. Jude Children Research Hospital. The Las Vegas chapter was headed up by Tanya Amid and Dorit Schwartz, ladies I had met through the years of living in our very connected community.

They had no idea how close this project was to my own heart.

In my early 20’s I was moved to tears by a documentary I had seen showing the children at St. Jude’s Research Hospital. I was a budding artist and wanted to send the children something that would make them smile. I painted quite a large painting and I remember rolling it up and proudly sending it to Memphis, Tennessee, headquarters for the research hospital.

St. Jude sculpture by Beti Kristof 2012​ - side A.

On display at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.

Fast track to 2011. It was the first time I created a painting on the heart, and I painted my experience with my son. The title of the heart was, A Brave Heart, A Lions Heart. Painted on the heart was a prayer I had copied while in a waiting room for the chemotherapy along with a Lion and many children of the world.

St. Jude sculpture by Beti Kristof 2012​ - side B. On display at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.

Little more than ten years later, in 1992, my 5 year old, Macko (who, by the way, changed his baby name to his grown up name during his hospital stay) was diagnosed with childhood leukemia. Thankfully to God, the research and private funding St. Jude’s receives, his chance of survival was more than 70%. Had it been 10 years earlier, his chances would have dropped by 20%.

Lazslo Kristof with his St. Jude sculpture 2013.

Proud to say he is an artist himself and Laszlo Kristof creates unique finishes for hand made leather shoes for designer, George Esquivel. In 2013, he also created a heart for the St. Jude gala fundraising event. He was very honored to be a part of the project as it was a way to give back. Wirtz Beverage sponsored and purchased the heart and is now installed at their corporate offices here in Las Vegas, NV.

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