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My guardian angel , Michele Angelo Petrone from The Emotional Cancer Journey

MAP FOUNDATION features in new book on the arts and health

A ground breaking new book on the importance of the arts in healthcare, devotes four pages to the story of Michele Petrone and the MAP Foundation.

Transforming the Healthcare Experience through the Arts, by Blair L Sadler and Annette Ridenour, has been written in collaboration with the worldwide Society for the Arts in Healthcare. Sadler and Ridenour have championed the society's cause for many years and partnered the society to create the Blair L. Sadler International Healing Arts Competition. This book, published in 2009, details examples of organisations and individuals who have pioneered arts projects in patient care.

The book begins with a study of the vital role of the arts in healthcare and follows with projects based in hospitals; with children, adolescents and the elderly.

MAP features in the chapter on projects serving cancer patients. The article focuses on The Emotional Cancer Journey and Michele's own story and is illustrated with paintings from the book. There are interviews with patients who have attended Michele's workshops and his philosophy on the work.

"My aim was to guide them so they felt free to express whatever they wanted," he wrote. "What was important was what each individual got out of it."

Unique art experience for cancer patients

The MAP Foundation broke new ground last year when it took art workshops to Scotland for the first time.

MAP was invited to present its workshops as part of a special conference at Stirling Royal Infirmary for patients, carers and healthcare professionals dealing with head and neck cancer.

The conference - Let's Talk Together Again - organised by Jane Thomson and her team, was addressed by John McGarva, lead head and neck consultant at NHS Forth Valley and by Professor Angela Wallace, NHS Forth Valley director of nursing.

Trustee of the MAP Foundation, Margaret Felton, addressed the conference, telling Michele Petrone's story, illustrating her talk with paintings from Michele's landmark exhibition, The Emotional Cancer Journey .

The three workshops for health professionals, patients and carers were facilitated by members of the MAP advisory group, Heather Allan, Chris Davis and Catherine Tutton.