Kathy Johnson: Rising from a challenge

Kathy Johnson holding her painting titled “Out of Africa.” Kathy, an animal lover, uses
National Geographic as an inspiration for animal paintings

Kathy Johnson, a Food For All recipient, is a cancer survivor who helps others get through the ordeal of chemotherapy. During her own chemotherapy Kathy felt trapped. She was losing herself. She knew the only way forward was to fight.

Her fight took different forms. Art provided a great refuge. Kathy was an art instructor at the YMCA many years ago, but stopped painting after getting a government job. During chemotherapy her son bought her some paints and she dived back in. Art was a panacea for the pain.

Another survival strategy was diet. Long before she was diagnosed with cancer, Kathy started eating healthier food, including a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. That kept her weight down and her body strong, increasing her resilience to the cancer ordeal. She also stopped eating after 5 pm as a weight control measure.
Based on her own experience, Kathy has developed a straightforward philosophy of life: learn from tragedy, heal yourself well, and then help others.

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