Jessica Zoe Kalendek, a straight-A student at Bel Air Middle School, doesn't like to dwell on the surgery she had at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore last year.
But the 14-year-old has one pleasant memory to associate with her stay at the acute care hospital for children -- a festive picture of a hearth decked out for Christmas that she drew while she was a patient. The cards are sold to raise money for the Children's Center.
The drawing shows four green stockings hung by a fireplace and has a border of ribbons and jingle bells. The drawing was one of five designs chosen from among 40 entries to appear on this year's Children's Center Miracle Cards.
The cards are Christmas greeting cards designed by young patients at Hopkins. About 200,000 cards are sold each year before the holidays to raise money for the Children's Center. Last year's sales netted $65,000, said hospital spokesperson.
Elliott Langbaum, a Children's Center volunteer who serves on the Miracle Card committee, said Zoe's design was perfect for the Christmas cards.
"Each year, we start as soon as it gets cold and ask children to draw winter scenes, Christmas scenes, whatever. Then we spread them out on somebody's living room floor and pick the ones we think will sell the best," said Langbaum. "We just thought Zoe's drawing was absolutely beautiful. It's a very warm nice drawing."
Zoe has a hereditary kidney condition called Alports Syndrome. But the surgery she had last year was to remove benign, but invasive tumors from her esophagus. She was hospitalized at the Children's Center for 60 days last winter, but is now in good health.
"I like to think of that as something I've passed by," said Zoe, quickly changing the subject back to art.
BUY A MIRACLE
The Johns Hopkins Children's Center Miracle Cards can be purchased through Dec. 14 at area Amoco stations, Greetings and Readings in Towson, C-Mart in Bel Air, G. Briggs, Wawa food markets or by calling 955-8767.
A package of 16 cards sells for $8. Proceeds benefit the Hopkins Children's Center.