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Artist’s fantasy photos fulfill sick kids’ dreams

Through his Drawing Hope Project, Canadian artist Shawn Van Daele captures photos of sick kids, and edits them into fantastical environments.

15 PHOTOS

Soaring sunflowers

Sunflowers reach to the heavens for Sadie, whom Van Daele imagined as "The Sun Princess." Sadie has Cone Rod Dysfunction, an ocular dystrophy which leaves her incredibly sensitive to the sun.

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A girl and her horse

Kayla is transformed into a skilled equestrian as she soars through a sunny wood in this Van Daele image. Kayla was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at age 9.

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King of the sea

A colorful underwater landscape in this image transports Hunter to a safe, magical place. This "Hero of the Deep" was diagnosed with a rare combination of heart conditions including Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

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Magical thinking

In this Van Daele image, Cooper - who suffers from Stickler's Syndrome - becomes a magician, able to summon birds and lift houses. Cooper's condition led to a major retina detachment at age 5.

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Super hero

Van Daele describes this image as his very favorite. Jack was born with Biliary Atresia and received a life-saving liver transplant shortly before this photo was taken.

Jack "is able to save the day because an organ donor saved his," Van Daele writes.

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Space man

The sky is hardly the limit to David's dreams, thanks to Van Daele’s imaginative photo artwork. David was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and has undergone three heart surgeries to prolong the life of his heart.

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How does your garden grow?

Avery "The Butterfly Fairy" makes a magical garden bloom with the flick of a watering can and the fluttering of her wings. Avery was born with a cleft palate and an underdeveloped jaw.

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Natural beauty

Ruby's mother died when she was younger, but the unconditional love of her sister and family help her to shine through the pain.

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A very special expedition

At just 34 days old, Marco received a heart transplant that saved his life, only to batle cancer at age 4. This little hero gets to explore the world through Van Daele’s fantasy photo editing.

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Somewhere over the rainbow

Penguins held aloft by colorful balloons help transport Owen, who was born with multiple heart defects, to a carefree fantasyland.

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Candy land

Cotton candy trees and blooming lollipops guide this Queen into Candyland. Alexandria was born with Biliary Atresia, a maldevelopment of the bile duct in her liver.

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Time traveler

One boy’s nightmare is another’s dream, and Dominic wanted to travel in time to the dinosaur days. Dominic was born prematurely with Down syndrome, feeding issues, and heart failure, but that doesn't stop Dom from running and playing with dinosaurs.

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Hope floats

Captain Chance stays aloft under the moonlight, with guidance from the S.S. Hope. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2011 and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

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Magic carpet ride

Van Daele is Kasie's genie, transporting her to a magical land through his photo editing. Kasie has Rett syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder that almost exclusively affects girls.

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Riding in style

At 7 months old, Ryley received a heart transplant that saved her life. She is proof that anything is possible and Van Daele's photo illustration shows just that. A white unicorn, a flowering meadow and a magical tutu transform her dreams into reality.

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