How fingerprints will raise $100k for cancer research
FINGERPRINTS of Sunshine Coast children and adults will appear among 2000 others in an artistic project that will raise more than $100,000 for breast cancer research.
Artist Marie Ramos brought the Heart as Big as Yours project to Maroochydore yesterday, inviting those wanting to help foster change to cast their fingerprints on ceramic tiles that together will create a massive mural of support.
Dance3D hosted the fundraising day yesterday, with a baking sale and sausage sizzle also helping to raise funds.
Participants pay a $50 donation to have their fingerprints taken in a heart shape on a ceramic tile with their initials.
All funds go to the Love Your Sister charity, which has already raised $5.4 million for breast cancer research.
The fingerprint hearts are in tribute to Love Your Sister founder and breast cancer patient Connie Johnson, who Mrs Ramos said had the "biggest heart".
"I've just gone big, just using her as an inspiration to every minute of your life, do the best you can," Mrs Ramos said.
Now in its eighth month of collecting prints, Mrs Ramos is halfway to her goal of 2000 tiles, but time is fast running out.
The project has become an urgent matter so Connie, who is in hospice care, can see the finished artwork before cancer finally takes her life.
"I'm just racing to have it finished, hoping that she'll be still here in time," Mrs Ramos said.
"Hopefully she'll stay stable."
Mrs Ramos, who lives in Sydney, has taken the year off from her photography and ceramic print business to travel up and down the east coast of Australia, collecting the prints.
The prints have come from anyone from newborn babies to 90-year-olds, along with a few celebrities including Kate Richie and Manu Fidel.
Each contributor is given a map of the artwork, showing where their tile will be on the wall of support.
Principal Heidi O'Hehir said the event tied in with the lessons the studio was teaching its young students, and encouraged them to give back to the community.
"Our end of year show is about heroes, and the small children are talking about their superheroes," Mrs O'Hehir said.
"As they grow, part of our educational program is to work with the community and say hey, we can also be heroes for our neighbours and really contribute to what other people are doing for each other.
"It becomes more real for them than just Batman."
She hoped the day would raise more than $5000 for Love Your Sister.
The work is due to exhibit from October 30 - Breast Cancer Awareness Day - at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney.