Canadian photographer Shawn Van Daele believes that “anything is possible”, so he tried to introduce this kind of thinking to kids in need. He started collecting drawings by kids with certain health conditions and, inspired by these illustrations of their dreams, he brought them to life in the medium he knows best – photography.

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In his “Drawing Hope” project, he holds photo shoots with kids, reenacting their drawings and making the children the real-life heroes and heroines of their own fantasy worlds. The fantastic results of his digitally manipulated photography and the photo shoots themselves bring a lot of care-free joy to the lives of these kids and their families. [Read more...]

Because many of these kids are in need of organ transplants, the project raises awareness of how necessary and simple it is for us to sign up to donate.


David, Keeper of The Stars

David was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, meaning half his heart did not fully develop. His first surgery was at 8 days old, which left him in cardiac arrest that was thankfully stabilized. For 8 weeks he stayed in the hospital, suffering multiple infections, later going into congestive heart failure before his 2nd surgery at 7.5 mo old. His third surgery happened 3 years later, helping prolong the life of his heart. Though David may one day need a heart transplant, he knows that anything is possible. Even protecting the stars we all wish on.

Marco, The Explorer

Marco was born with a broken heart. By the miracle of a heart transplant at 34 days old, Marco received the gift of life, only to face cancer at the age of 4 – which he heroically fought, and won. With determination and a donor family through anything is possible…even magic apples.

Ryley, The Queen of Hearts

At 7 months old, Ryley’s life was saved by a heart transplant, made possible by an amazing donor. Without her transplant, Ryley wouldn’t be here to inspire others and be an advocate for – an online registry to support the gift of life. Register today, and anything is possible. Even unicorns.

Anniek, Hero of Sand Castle

Anniek was born with 5 Congenital Heart Defects that were diagnosed about 7 hours after she was born. At 17 days old she had open heart surgery to “repair” her heart defects, and also had 5 heart catheterizations. She currently has a feeding tube, and will need additional surgeries in the future. Despite her conditions, Anniek still knows that anything is possible. Even becoming the Hero of Sand Castle.

Alexandria, Queen of Candyland

Alex was born with a rare disease called Biliary Atresia, a maldevelopment of the common bile duct in the liver. At 1 month old she underwent a KASAI Procedure surgery, but 3 months later it was discovered she would need a transplant. Luckily, once she was listed, she received her gift of life after only 8 days of waiting. With her new liver made possible because of an organ donor, she is a true example that anything is possible. Even becoming the Queen of Candyland.

Dawson, Pirate of Trillium Island

Dawson developed meningitis when he was only 2 months old, resulting in external hydrocephalus and a brain bleed, as well as an Ecoli infection in his kidneys and bladder. Most of his first year was spent in the hospital battling secondary infections. With mild Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida Occulta, as well as kidney and liver damage, Dawson spends part of his time in a wheel chair – but it doesn’t stop him from believing anything is possible. Even becoming The Pirate of Trillium Island.

Dominic, The Time Traveller

Dominic was born prematurely with Down Syndrome, feeding issues, AND congenitive heart failure. He’s had many surgeries, most recently on his heart to repair his atria. Dominic is non-verbal and is hospitalized many times a year as he battles recurring pneumonia. All this aside, with his contagious laughter and sense of adventure, anything is possible – even traveling through time to play with dinosaurs.

Kayla – The Forest Keeper

When Kayla was 9 years old, she was diagnosed with Chron’s Disease an inflammatory bowel disease causing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, joint pain, swelling, fatigue and other symptoms. She takes daily medication to try and control the disease so she can continue to pursue her love of horses and riding. The ir no cure, but with continued research anything is possible. Even magical forests.

Avery – The Butterfly Fairy

Avery as born with a cleft palate, underdeveloped lower jaw, feeding and breathing issues, spending her first 6 weeks at London Children’s Hospital. Her first surgery was at 2 months – a gastromy tube. Her cleft palate was repaired and she received ear tubes at 1 year old. She hasn’t stopped smiling through it all. Keep smiling, and anything is possible. Even fairies.

Kaleigh, Princess of Rose Castle

Kaleigh was diagnosed at 13 months with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, preventing her from moving around like a “normal” toddler should. For several years, she required a weekly injection of a harsh narcotic, which finally put her into remission. Last December the arthritis returned but injections directly in her joints have helped. Despite the pain even most adults never know, Kaleigh still believes that anything is possible – even becoming Princess of Rose Castle.

Dominic, The King of Hope

Dominic was diagnosed at 24 weeks in utero with severe congenital heart defects. He had his first surgery at 4 days old, and spent his first Christmas in the hospital after open heart surgery. On his third birthday he had a third surgery. Since then he has been diagnosed with learning difficulties and Apraxia of Speech, but it hasn’t stopped him dreaming big. With teams of life-saving individuals at our local children’s hospitals, anything is possible. Even becoming King of your very own castle.

Chance – The Captain

Chance was diagnosed with Pre B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in June of 2011. The next month his diagnosis changed to “rare, high risk”. His chemo treatments are expected to last until October 2014, but his spark and will to survive inspires his family and everyone around him. When you give Hope a Chance, anything is possible. Even becoming Captain of your very own ship.