Cancer survivor raises $1 million with paintings before the age of 20
Jeff Hanson excels despite visual impairment
6:55 PM, May 23, 2013
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Jeff Hanson's favorite paintings are the ones with all the bright colors.
Bright colors stand out to him, because he has limited vision. That limitation hasn't stopped the 19-year-old cancer survivor from painting and selling his work at auctions for the last seven years, raising money for charities worldwide.
This past weekend, Hanson surpassed the $1 million mark in fundraising. Last year, he set a goal to raise that much before he turns 20 in September.
Hanson hit the magic mark by selling two canvasses and a hand-painted evening gown at a charity auction in Dallas. The items brought in $46,000 for the North Texas Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The Overland Park teen started losing his sight at age 6. At 12, he underwent chemotherapy to remove a tumor on his optic nerve. He said he started painting during that time to combat the boredom of being stuck in bed.
As his health improved, his art career took off. His mother, Julie, estimates Jeff has painted some 1,100 canvasses on commission. Since 2007, he has donated 125 works to charities across the U.S.
The Hanson family recently released a book about Jeff's experiences, called Lessons from CLOD.
CLOD is the derogatory name Jeff gave to his tumor.
"I didn't want to give it a pretty name," he said.