The Beauty of Low Riders
Art Class Adapts Gift Idea For Sick Kids
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By Brandi Strother
It all started with Nick Konkler, a four-year-old from Washington. Then, Weston Ranch hit some switches to customize it.
Little Nick really got sick. The boy entered chemotherapy.
As the years progressed, Nick’s brain tumor did not. His health began to improve.
Then, Nick, 16, had to deal with another life changing tragedy. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
As Nick’s mother, Christina, spent time with her son in the hospital, they saw a patient riding on an intravenous (IV) platform called a “lily pad.” Nick was inspired. “I can make those in workshop,” his mother said he remarked.
But he never got the chance.
Nick died in 2015. His mom decided to breathe life into Nick’s lily pad dream.
Christina contacted a Woodworking and Design class where people crafted some colorful and functional. Donations flowed in and the Lily Pad Project started. More information can be found online here http://www.seeyalater.org/syl-washington/lily-pad-project/
Today, hundreds of miles south of Washington along Interstate 5, our high school has updated the Lily Pad idea.
Weston Ranch Art teacher Kira Eadington said the high school has continued Nick’s project with a new spin on it.
With donations from Kelly Moore Paints, Manteca Orchard Supply and Hardware and other appliance stores, Eadington’s Advanced Art students painted 26 lily pads for children at Kaiser Women and Children’s Hospital and named them “Low Riders.”
Eadington said Low Riders describe how the children at Kaiser Women and Children’s Hospital always had to walk around the hospital with their IV poles.
The Lily Pads or Low Riders were designed to add some beauty to an ugly situation. The low riders can be used as a little seat for the patients to ride along during their brief or extended stays in the hospital.
“This is our first year doing this,” Eadington said, “but we would love to make it an annual thing because unfortunately children will always have to deal with sickness.”