MD Anderson Lobby Home to Colorful Paper Dragon Crafted by 1500 Patients, Families, Staff

Style Magazine Newswire | 9/3/2014, 3:27 p.m.
A giant paper dragon, known as Okoa, makes its debut in the lobby of the Main Building at The University ...
Paper Dragon Crafted by 1500 Patients, Families, Staff MD Anderson Newsroom

HOUSTON – The giant paper dragon, known as Okoa, makes its debut in the lobby of the Main Building at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Crafted by more than 1,300 MD Anderson pediatric and adult patients and their families over the last five months, the dragon is eight feet tall, seven feet wide and more than 21 feet long. The vibrant paper scales, coffee filter flowers and water color paintings that make up the water were all colored and created at a temporary art studio hosted by the Arts in Medicine Program at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital. The dragon even has a “gold” tooth, as designed by a young patient.

Okoa is a Swahili word that means “rescue, save, redeem or deliver,” and it was selected as the dragon’s name by the many who helped create it.

Launched in 2010, the Arts in Medicine Program has focused on large-scale, long-term creative collaborations with patients and families undergoing treatment at MD Anderson’s Children’s Cancer Hospital. This is the first project to bring together patients, families and staff from the entire hospital.