Thursday, December 10, 2015

Art of Medicine Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art.


Local physician Cindy LaRoe, wife to First GREEN Bank’s CEO, Ken LaRoe, was an avid cyclist until she crashed hard at a race. She recalled the day in some detail in a video presented at the Art of Medicine Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art, (2416 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL) on October 15th.  It was getting near the end of the ride when she let a group of young cyclists pass her. They swerved and crossed each others paths in ways that aren't allowed in a professional race. They got tangled together and went down hard right in front of Cindy. That is the last thing she remembered. Sadly, she suffered a traumatic brain injury that left her unable to work as a physician, which prompted her to focus on her passion for art. 

Ken recalled trying to find a good physician who could treat Cindy. The first physicians they faced were more interested in biking than in diagnosing Cindy's symptoms. The misdiagnosis and delay lead to Cindy's condition not getting treatment in time for a full recovery.  The accident encouraged Cindy to bring awareness to the brain injury community in Central Florida. The Art of Medicine Gala on October 15th benefited the Brain Injury Association of Florida which supports thousands of people who have found relief through the organization. 

Cindy's artwork was bright, bold and realistic with detail stripped a way. A large painting of Lance Armstrong tied in well with the theme of the evening. All of the artwork on display in the front gallery of the museum was by practicing physicians practicing physicians. It makes sense that physicians would have a taken for art.

I sketched the Jazz Fusion band performing in the museum's lobby. I recognized the saxophone player. The tall table I worked at turned out to also be right in front of the stage where Cindy and Ken spoke. Actually Cindy had no desire to speak in front of a crowd, but her quiet presence and her art inspired many to give to the cause. When the auction kicked off, I took that time to look at the art in the then empty gallery. Her work does stand out. He large canvases inspired me to want to work larger. Funds raised at the Gala will help the Brain Injury Association of Florida raise the $250,000 goal needed by June of 2016.

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