On October 1st, 2018, my sister Rithika and I were on our way to our Bharatanatyam class (an Indian classical dance form) with our nanny. Then the devastating moment happened. A car had collided into the right side of our car. I was shouting my sister's name, as she remained still and I quickly became terrified that she was dead.
The paramedics quickly came to the scene and the ambulance brought us all to the emergency department at the Evergreen hospital in Redmond, WA. My sister had been paralyzed from the chest down and the paramedics brought her to the Harborview Hospital in Seattle, while I remained at Evergreen due to my concussion. She stayed in the Intensive Care Unit for several days with multiple spinal fractures, a sternum fracture, and internal spleen bleeding.
At my sister's hospital stay she was brought down to a shared hospital room at one point with a young girl who got airlifted from another city due an accidental body burn. My parents had spoken with the girl's father and learned how he was very concerned, not only about his daughter's recovery, but the medical bills for the recovery. In that moment, I realized that many families struggle with sustaining themselves and their families because of occurrences that were unexpected. Our family was fortunate enough to take both of us to all required medical treatments and therapies that needed for our recovery, but I learned through the experience that it's not the case for many.
My sister's spine healed with the excellent support and care she received from Evergreen hospital, Harborview, Seattle Childrens, Kaiser Permanente, and many other medical professionals from the US and India. Our treatment cost was very high, but it was 100% covered by our insurance and parents. My sister returned back to her normal self and even got selected into her favorite swim team. I understand that this is not the case for many kids in similar situations. This made me think about how I can support those kids..
Arts4Assistance was initially developed to help support those kids. The use of art came from how my sister and I were deeply raised through the arts, such as painting, singing, and dancing, allowing us to use our interests in arts to help others! Like us, there are many kids who do not know how they can apply their artistic talent & year long learned skills in art to make some huge impact in our society. Artists are always looking for venues to showcase their talent and what if they can showcase their talent & support a bigger cause. It's a double win. Also it's a two sided benefit, uplift artists and impact a major cause.
I got a chance to participate in Bellevue Chamber of Commerce’s YEA program and became the 1st place winner & received $600 in funding to pursue this initiative. Later I started observing that there are many other major current issues including recent COVID-19 struggles that this initiative can make an impact in. My first thought was to change the cause A4A focused on every year, but later I determined that it would take more time to properly focus on a cause. Therefore,I decided to act on one cause every 3 year. Right now, A4A is using the art platform to assist with unexpected medical needs, including the current COVID-19 impact.
- Ishika M Binu
You can support us in many ways
- Join our team
- Purchase artwork
- Donate artwork
- Spread the word
The "Misty Mountains" painting was done by Rithika at the age of 9. The listed painting is in the 11 by 14 size. To purchase the canvas in different sizes visit the "Purchase Art' tab.
Sister of Mine Are you bleeding just for me?
Sister of Mine There's so much that you can't do Who knows?
I felt it from the first hit I shared with you
That now our dreams May never come true
Sister of Mine Your bones are fractured from the car
There in the hospital And through the buzzing of the crowded doctors It's you
Yes, all we're looking for is you to stand up
A hand A leap A touch A dance
A hold in somebody's arms To warm up the nerves To open the world and send it reeling
A voice that says, I'll be here And you'll be alright
I don't care if I know Just where I will go
'Cause all that I need is this crazy feeling A rat-tat-tat of your feet
Think I want it to stay
Sister of Mine Are you shinning just for me?
Sister of Mine You never danced so brightly