LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Chemotherapy can be an exhausting process both emotionally and physically, but it's helped one cancer patient manage anxiety.

“It has been a great distraction,” said Dan Bulleit. “I’ll go down there and sit. I won’t have any energy, but it takes over. I don’t even think about it anymore.” 

The last few years have been tough on Bulleit. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in October of 2018. Art has been a passion for him all his life, and it now serves as a great therapy choice when Laura Chamberlin, art therapist with Norton Cancer Institute, led him through some sessions. 

“I find with the oncology population, the goal is to reduce stress and anxiety, to have the patients find hope," she said.

Bulleit’s art is on display at the Norton Cancer Institute in Brownsboro. One of his pieces, known as the "Blue Angel", depicts a tired healthcare worker grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. It has grabbed the attention of many across the country.

“It’s going to be in a national magazine next month, won two awards, and bought by a gallery,” Bulleit said. “I got more responses on Facebook than anything I’ve ever done.”

Inspiration for the "Blue Angel" came from Bulleit’s positive attitude and experience toward the nurses who have helped guide him during his cancer journey. He wanted to use the opportunity to pay tribute to their heroism during the pandemic.

“I’m usually inspired by people who inspire me, so that’s how I paint something. I react to it and can’t seem to hold in, I have to do something,” he said.