January 25, 2020
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Repurposing art helps mother and son heal and help others

Community Author: Joshua Archer
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Life coach Susan Faloon and her son Camden have spent the past year finding solace  and purpose through creating the repurposed art up for sale after losing Faloon’s boyfriend Michael Gallagher to his battle with ALS.

 

The idea for repurposed art came shortly after Gallagher’s death.

 

“It kind of started with me redecorating the space after Mike died. I was looking at this space and there are a lot of happy memories but also a lot of sad memories and I just wanted to brighten it up and make it a happy space.

 

“I would go to Goodwill or Salvation Army and I would get used canvases, which was part of my whole theme of repurposing things, and I figured I was contributing to a good cause by purchasing them at those places and then I would bring the canvases home recreating them into new art and that’s what will be featured in our art show,” Faloon said.

 

Camden, who has Down syndrome and autism, spends a week each year at Camp Capella, a summer camp that provides diverse recreational and educational opportunities for children and adults with disabilities, the money from the sale of his art will help pay for his tuition at Camp Capella and any remaining funds will help other children attending the camp as well, Faloon said.

 

Proceeds from the sale of Faloons art will benefit the Windham based Hope J. G. Foundation, the organization that helped Gallagher fight ALS.

 

The fundraiser will also mark a new beginning for Faloon who has spent the past year earning certifications to become a health and life coach in order to help others improve their own lives while at the same time help her find purpose after the loss of her boyfriend.

 

“I was his primary caregiver and as you can imagine when you’re dealing with that every day it takes a pretty significant amount of your time and then all of a sudden everything comes to a screeching halt and so Camden and I both started getting into art and then I also got my health coach and life coach certifications because I thought that would be a really nice way to help other people who may be in similar situations,” Faloon said.

 

The stress of her full-time position as public information officer at Maine Emergency Management Agency and being responsible for her son and boyfriend’s health became detrimental to Faloon’s as well. That is when she discovered health and life coaching.

 

“I really started realizing that if you’re gonna take care of someone else you really have to take care of yourself because you’re no good to other people if you’re not taking care of yourself,” she said. “I started to experience some serious signs of stress, I was having anxiety attacks and I actually had a recurrence of bladder cancer that I had years before and just health conditions that I know my body was reacting to all of the stress that I was under and so I started to really thinking about not just you know your diet and your exercise but how you’re managing stress and how you’re sleeping and all of those things and so I got my health coach certification through Primal Health Coach Institute.”

 

After educating herself and making changes to her lifestyle to manage her stress, Faloon’s health improved. She decided to earn her certifications and set out to help others.

 

“I really want to share with other people and help them get healthy and help them realize that you know it’s not just about diet and I think that I have a lot to share with people,” she said.

 

A charity fundraiser took place Saturday, Dec. 7 at Seasons in Bangor to give folks the opportunity to purchase art to benefit Camp Capella and the Hope J. G. Foundation and to remember a man on the one-year anniversary of his death. The event featured music performed by Faloon’s oldest son Tom Tash at the charity fundraiser, original songs as well as holiday favorites.

 

“Just a little fun holiday gathering that people can stop by on the anniversary of (Gallagher’s) death and support a couple of good causes and just come out and have a good time,” she said.

 

For more information visit purposelifecoach.com, facebook.com/PurposeLC and facebook.com/events/1200526213481992.