Cancer Survivor Draws the Line: Raises Money for Research via Comic Books

drawing-the-line.gifLandmark Forum graduate and Toronto native Suley Fattah has caused $20,000 to be donated to the Emmanuelle Gattuso Chair in Breast Surgery Oncology, through sales of his latest charity comic book, Drawing the Line, Again. The book, which is an anthology of comics from internationally renown artists, is the second such effort from Fattah; the first, Drawing the Line, was released in 2004.

Fattah himself was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in August of 2002 before he was 40 years old. He decided to use the diagnosis as an opportunity and an adventure. He told everyone about his disease, and began keeping a blog of what was happening to him. He put together Drawing the Line, which had 35 different artists use the graphic novel medium to tell stories about hospitals, health and wellness. His cancer went into remission, but Fatah stayed with the Drawing the Line Project.

In addition to raising money and visibility for cancer research, Fatah saw an opportunity to have young artists have a chance to be published. At same time, quite a few of the 61 artists who contributed to the second project were already famous, with contributions to Drawing the Line, Again, coming from such well known people as Clive Barker, Bill Sienkiewicz, Stan Sakai, Moebius, Gotting and Ernie Chan in addition to the rising young artists.

Much of the honest and success of the Draw the Line books can be attributed to Fattah’s extraordinary openness.

“I wanted people to join me on my adventure. I viewed it as going along the street with them, arm in arm.”

The project was also inspired by the extraordinary health care workers he met during his illness.

I received countless smiles, reassuring words and an abundance of kindness which gave me the strength to face my cancer positively,” he says. “That someone chooses to provide that level of care and kindness to a stranger, just because that is their job, and, to do that every day, with every person that they encounter, astounding. Drawing the Line, and Drawing the Line, Again, are my way of thanking each and every one of those individuals–All healthcare workers–Who make a difference every day.”

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