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Sketch marathon inspired by girl's eye cancer battle

By Somerset Standard  |  Posted: November 21, 2013

  • Frome artist Sarah Godsill with three-year-old Darcey

  • A portrait of Darcey by Sarah Godsill

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FROME artist Sarah Godsill is hoping to draw for 24 hours non-stop on Tuesday, December 3, to raise awareness of childhood eye cancer.

Sarah, of Vicarage Street, is the Merlin Theatre's artist in residence and an accomplished portrait artist. She has been inspired to undertake the sketch-a-thon by a three-year-old friend called Darcey.

Darcey is the daughter of a couple Sarah met when she drew for them at their wedding in 2009.

The little girl was diagnosed with retinoblastoma at six months. She received several months of chemotherapy and was declared stable for ten months after that.

Sadly, last May her right eye suffered a dramatic relapse and had to be removed for fear the cancer could spread.

Sarah said: "She has adjusted well to life with one eye, initially she fell over a lot, but her balance is improving and the prosthetic eye is so good that you would hardly know."

She will be raising money for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT), which offers emotional and practical support to families with a child suffering from retinoblastoma.

Sarah will be tucking herself away in her workspace in Frome to draw for at least 24 hours, possibly over two days.

She said: "I am hoping to do it non-stop but some of the drawings will be commissioned so I want to make sure I have my wits about me to do those. I shall just have to see how I get on."

Sarah is also taking commissions for the 24-hour sketch-a-thon for portraits of people or pets from photos for anyone who donates £50 or more. She can be contacted to book a drawing slot, as there will be a limit to the number of drawings she can complete, by sending an email to sarahgodsill @hotmail.com.

She added: "By donating money to CHECT, people are helping families affected by retinoblastoma, or perhaps the donation will be used to research this ghastly illness or even just raise awareness of it, as an early diagnosis could save a child's eye if not life."

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