UCL News


Charitable foundation launched at UCL's Centre for Medical Humanities

25 June 2003

A new charitable foundation has been launched by UCL honorary lecturer Mr Michele Petrone (Centre for Medical Humanities).

Michele Petrone (Photo: Lucinda Beattie) An educational initiative, the foundation aims to promote the expression, understanding and communication of the emotional impact of illness through workshops, publications and exhibitions.

A professional artist, Mr Petrone was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease - a form of cancer of the lymph system - in 1994. While recovering from a bone marrow transplant in the Haematology department of University College Hospital, he began painting as an outlet for his feelings of isolation, pain, love and hope. The resulting 21 paintings documenting the experiences of his illness became 'The Emotional Cancer Journey', an exhibition accompanied by prose that has travelled throughout the UK and is currently on show at the same department where he underwent treatment.

‘Healing Touch’ by Mr Petrone

The exhibition provoked enormous response among both patients and health professionals, and has been used by over 100 health organisations. Since 1998, Mr Petrone has organised art workshops for patients, carers and health professionals in order for them to explore their feelings and issues.

Mr Petrone said: "Creative expression can help break down communication barriers and contribute to a healthier society. Arts based activities that promote emotional and spiritual well-being help reduce isolation and marginalisation and change public and professional attitudes to the emotional impact of life threatening illness."

Images: Top - Michele Petrone (Photo: Lucinda Beattie). Bottom - Healing Touch by Michele Petrone.

To find out more about the foundation use the link below.

MAP Foundation