The paramedics at the fire department near Christine Williams'
Lombard condo knew her son Christian by name, thanks to his nearly
weekly grand mal seizures. Christian, who was born with cerebral
palsy, had suddenly begun seizing, leaving doctors scrambling to
put together a cocktail mix of medicine to calm his frantic brain
Christine, in the meantime, was trying to calm her own
frantic feelings as she began spending her nights watching the
monitor that would let her know if another seizure had begun. The
pair became homebound last fall as the seizures progressed and left
"I learned how to handle it, but I literally got myself
almost to the point of being sick,"Christine says. "You have no
control. You get to the point where you can't do anything but watch
Since she had always enjoyed drawing and painting, she
decided that picking up a paintbrush again might be a good way to
help her deal with Christian's health issues. "As I did the
painting myself to relieve stress, I said to Christian, `Why don't
you paint with Mom?'" Christine says. "He loved it right
Because Christian has limited use of his hands, Christine
bought sponge brushes with thick handles that Christian could
For each painting, Christine uses acrylic paints to cover
the canvas with a solid base color. Then it's Christian's
"He has a good time picking the colors," Christine says.
"I put on a solid color, then he'll pick colors to create an
abstract background for the painting."
Christian lets his mom know when he wants her to turn the
canvas, and what he thinks she should paint over his abstract lines
to complete the final painting. A recent painting included
Chicago's skyline, something Christian chose because he loves the
In June, Christine and Christian had their first official
art show at Gallery's Choice in Downers Grove. Many prints and
several original paintings sold, with the money going to charity.
Best of all, Christian received plenty of recognition.
"Christian loved it. He loved meeting people and talking
to people. He did his famous fingerprint signature on all the
prints that we signed," Christine says.
But the finished works of art mean so much more to
Christine than money raised or people fussing over her
"There's a lot of true emotion that goes into creating
art," she says. "When I have him by my side and we're creating
something together, there's no better feeling."
For more information on CnC Creations, visit their Facebook page
Gallery's Choice is also selling their work, galleryschoice.com.
Liz DeCarlo is the former senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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