Art heals when medicine isn’t enough

Erika Slifer was born with epidermyolysis bullosa, or EB, a rare genetic condition resulting in severe blistering of the skin.


“I compare it to the tissue paper that you stuff presents with, so it’s very, very fragile,” says 26-year-old Erika. “The wounds can be very painful and the bandages I wear are to protect the damaged or extra-fragile skin.”


She’s been coming to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital since she was a baby, has battled cancer three times in the past three years, and had to have both feet amputated to keep it from spreading.


To capture Erika’s courage and resilience, a nonprofit organization called Portrait of a Soul — which seeks to heal some of the emotional issues that patients with physical and mental challenges may experience by providing a professional portrait — selected Erika to have hers painted. To learn more, click here or watch the video above.

Read more articles by Soapbox Staff.

Signup for Email Alerts