A cancer diagnosis is often a wake-up call. For Allana Randall, it kick-started her career.
The 26-year-old was living and teaching in Taiwan when she started to notice she was losing weight and always tired. She initially brushed the symptoms off as bodily adjustments to living abroad, but eventually saw a doctor. It was Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Randall returned home to begin treatment in early 2020. Then, the pandemic hit, and she had to be even more careful about who she was–and wasn’t–seeing. To pass the time, she started painting and designing upbeat stickers, like one with colorful succulents and the phrase “cancer succs.” (Click here to check out more quirky designs on her Instagram page.)
Later that year, Randall decided to launch her own online business, Ten by Ten Gallery, where a portion of every sale is donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. So far, she’s given more than $12,000.
Several of Randall’s paintings are now on display in the Cancer Symptom Management Clinic at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center to inspire current patients–including a sign in the reception area that reads “RESILIENT” interwoven with flowers. Randall also designed colorful window decals for each treatment room in that wing.
“It’s really emotional for me because it does feel like it’s come full circle,” she shared. “Chemo is such a terrible thing to go through, so if there’s any little bit of brightness I can give, it makes me so happy to be able to do that.”
Randall, who’s been in remission since November 2021, also attends local art fairs to show her work and meet other cancer survivors of people impacted by the disease.
“It’s a life path I never would’ve chosen, but I feel very grateful for where I am and how I’m able to give back,” she said.
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