Christina Thomas' inspirational journey through Multiple Sclerosis, kidney disease, and cancer.
My name is Christina Thomas. I am an artist living with a terminal illness. Creating art allows me to be healthy in spirit. I am a miracle.
At the age of eleven I picked up a paint brush and have not put it down. I was enamored by the world of color and the power of a single stroke on a canvas. Art nourished my soul.
After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis; I began to create letters out of tissue and adhere them to the canvas with water. This practice helped to exercise my fingers. The canvas began to tell my story in the words I was sculpting.
The cadence of life does not slow down. At thirty-four I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease. There are two treatments available; a kidney transplant and dialysis. I am waiting for a kidney and it may be five to seven years. Approximately nineteen people die each day waiting for a kidney. Four days a week of dialysis for at least four hours of treatment is my prescription. My wife is my care partner for at home dialysis. Two weeks without dialysis would mean death and I live with that truth everyday. It does not paralyze me but empowers me.
My work is driven by an indescribable force. Creating is like meditation and with each stroke I go deeper. The colors begin to speak to each other on my palette and I bend to their will. My work is less about me and more about the miracle of rising above your circumstance. The adversity that we experience is a point of growth that we can extract knowledge from.
My wife, Nieta Greene, and I began Speak Your Truth in 2011. Affordable art for the soul is our mantra. Exhibiting fine art and making it accessible to everyone is our goal. We sell original works, prints and cards. Speak Your Truth sponsors art events. At our events we concentrate on bringing awareness regarding kidney disease and organ donation.
Dialysis has changed my life. During treatment there are frequent cramps and spasms which are very painful. The dialysis treatment exacerbates the multiple sclerosis. It can become very uncomfortable sitting in a chair for four hours and not being able to move especially with spinal arthritis.
Treatment at home has improved my mood and my lab numbers. I have flexibility in my schedule. Kidney disease has given me an awareness that I did not have before about life. Life is good. If I focus on the negative I find myself in the rabbit hole. It just keeps going deeper. I live one day at a time. It is the only day I have. It is the only day any of us has.
All my love and thanks to my wife. She endures with me daily. Keep us in your prayers and thoughts.