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Retired Teacherís Art Photo Blooms on Calendar Cover

By Lorin Buck

Sandy Cohen, a special education teacher who retired from Fairfax County Public Schools, is one of 13 artists whose work is featured in the 2014 Creativity and Parkinson’s Calendar, published by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

Cohen’s photograph, “Tulip: Flame of Hope,” appears on the cover of the nationally distributed calendar, which helps to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease. More than 1,500 individuals voted for the artwork gracing the calendar.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly 1 million people in the United States and for which there is no cure. Cohen, of Alexandria, was diagnosed in 2003 at age 31. Only four percent of people living with Parkinson’s are diagnosed before the age of 50.

Although Cohen has enjoyed creative pursuits since her youth, she says her passion for photography was reignited after her diagnosis.

“Photography gives me freedom from thinking about my symptoms and allows me to remember ‘the real me’,” she said. “To have people from across the nation inspired by my photograph and sharing the experience of Parkinson’s together through art makes me so proud.”

Her photograph depicts a fiery orange and yellow tulip, the official symbol of Parkinson’s.

“We are proud to showcase Ms. Cohen’s work in the calendar and in our online gallery,” said Robin Elliott, foundation president. “Her photograph of a symbolic tulip shines on this year’s cover and will not only inspire but serve as a source of hope.”

Cohen is one of 350 artists living with Parkinson’s who have shared their artwork and experiences with the Creativity and Parkinson’s Project. To order the free calendar, call the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation at (800) 457-6676 or visit www.pdf.org/creativity.

Source Date: Dec 20 2013
Source Publication: The Fairfax County Times
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