Community Papers

Art auction to benefit Maple Ridge maternity ward

Kali McRoberts finds painting therapeutic.  - Colleen Flanagan/The News
Kali McRoberts finds painting therapeutic.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

On the anniversary of the loss of her newborn son, Kali McRoberts is auctioning her artwork to benefit the Ridge Meadows Hospital maternity ward.

"I felt like I was in a place where I wanted to do something," she said. "You try to find meaning in these events."

Elijah was born on March 8, 2010, and passed away 14 hours later at B.C. Children's Hospital.

Her website honouring him says it was a textbook pregnancy, and the labour seemed to be normal as well.

But in the last minutes of labour, he stopped getting oxygen.

By the time he was stabilized, he had suffered brain damage.

When he was taken off life support, he passed away.

Kali has two young children, aged 23 months and nine months, to keep her busy. But once they are in bed, she starts painting.

It began within the past six months, to pass time while her husband David works in Alberta. She finds it therapeutic.

She hopes to paint five of her works each week, 25 in total over a five-week period, and sell them online.

"They're bright, vibrant and kind of humorous paintings," she explains, like one of a unicorn punching a dolphin – "It draws you in because it's so weird."

They are all acrylic paint on a 9x12" canvas.

She will do 25 paintings, and hopes to make at least $250.

"I mostly wanted to do something to make my son proud," she said. "His memory is still alive, even though we've moved forward."

On Elijah's birthday, March 8, she will personally deliver a cheque to the hospital, "instead of just sitting home and being sad."

The first round of paintings will go on sale Monday, auctioned off online.

• To learn more visit Kalli's website.

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