Patient Artists & Artwork

aTeam Ministries is excited about our 2024 heart2heart Event on Friday, March 8, 2024 at The Grand Bohemian Hotel. We will be announcing our professional and patient artists very soon. Make your reservation to attend today by going to

Meet our 2023 Patient Artists!

Malia Coats

Malia Coats is a fun, loving, kind, sassy, intellectual, creative, witty, silly six year old daughter. She was born in 2016 as a twin and the youngest of four children. She effortlessly captures the attention of others and is loved by everyone who meets her. When she was a newborn, Malia’s mother noticed a slight difference in the size of her pupils. After several medical examinations, Malia was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 1. In 2018, her medical team confirmed a tumor behind her left eye that runs down the left side of her face that was aggressively growing and threatening her vision. With the understanding that her condition was complex and rare, Malia’s mother was faced with the decision of allowing her to participate in a clinical trial to avoid surgery and save her eyesight in her left eye. Malia has encountered numerous challenges since her diagnosis such as reactions to medications like stomach pains and skin discolorations, eating schedules (when she can and cannot eat), diet restrictions, lengthy weekly and biweekly doctor appointments (time away from school and other activities), needles, blood draws, and MRIs. Malia has always been observant and curious, and she is fully aware of her unique condition as it relates to her twin brother and children her age. She did express some fear of standing out at school, however, in typical Malia Coats fashion, she embraced the advice of loved ones and is grabbing Kindergarten by the horns. Malia is a social butterfly, and she excels academically. Everyone in her class is her best friend. She no longer hides behind her mother out of concern for what people may say, but instead welcomes their interest and makes an effort to educate them about her condition. God could not have picked a person with a more resilient personality to tackle the challenges that Malia encounters. Malia’s family is grateful that God saw fit to bless them with the gift of loving and watching her grow.
Pinky, Acrylic, 24x36”

Ella Ray

Ella Ray was born on March 12, 2010. Just a few months later, her mother saw small spots on her and noticed she was very pale. At her two month checkup, Ella’s pediatrician ran a CBC and found all blood counts to be extremely low.  They sent Ella to the hospital where she got admitted and needed transfusions immediately. It took a trip to St. Jude, a meeting with an infectious disease doctor in Birmingham, and finally meeting with hematology at Children’s before Ella got a true diagnosis. Ella was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Monosomy 7. It was a pre-cancer and she would need a bone marrow transplant to avoid getting AML. It was Ella’s only chance at a long life. Ella got her bone marrow transplant on December 9th, 2010. She had a very hard time and Ella’s family came close to losing her several times. During the month after the transplant, Ella endured many hardships such as a ventilator, dialysis, various transfusions, and medications. Through lots of prayer, hope, and faith – Ella made it. Ella is now twelve years old and is in the sixth grade. Even though she has challenges from the harsh chemo she received, she is still here and thriving. Ella still goes to many appointments and sees many specialists but Ella always goes to each appointment with a smile on her face. She is a true fighter in every word and her family knows that God has big plans for Ella Ray.
A Trip to Paradise, Acrylic, 24x24”

Kaiden Abston

Kaiden Abston is 6 years old from Gilbertown, Alabama.  On 5/22/21, he was diagnosed with B Cell ALL. The first year of treatment was the hardest on Kaiden but his family is thankful that God has kept them and is still seeing them through. Kaiden is currently in maintenance treatment and is expected to end treatment on 7/31/23. Kaiden takes his chemo daily by mouth at home and goes to clinic monthly. He does spinal and chemo treatments through his port with high dose steroids every three months starting with each new cycle. Kaiden is in Kindergarten and is currently doing homebound services. Kaiden loves to play Roblox and his Nintendo switch. He also loves YouTube and wants to be a professional YouTuber and artist as he loves to draw Sonic the Hedgehog daily.
Sonic Prime, Acrylic, 24x24”

Rio Mahaffey

Rio Mahaffey is 11 years old and lives in Warrior, Alabama with his family. Rio has one sister, Sophia (13) and one brother, Dalton (26) and a sister in love, Lexi (26). Rio was diagnosed with Langerhan Cell Histiocytosis at only 5 months old. Rio relapsed when he was five years old and his official diagnosis at that time was Multisystem Langerhan Cell Histiocytosis as it had spread from his skin to his pituitary, GI, and mouth. Langerhan Cell Histiocytosis is a very rare form of cancer. Rio and his mom traveled to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston in 2017 so Rio could receive treatment by the #1 specialist in the U.S. for LCH. Rio and his mom spent over a year in Texas getting treatment and then returned to Children’s of Alabama to complete the last part of his treatment in 2018. Rio was declared no active disease in May 2019. Rio is in the 6th grade at North Jefferson Middle School and recently donated 17 inches of hair to help kids receive wigs that have had hair loss due to chemotherapy. Rio is incredibly smart and is part of the gifted program at his school. Rio loves to spend time with his family, play video games, and cheer for his Auburn Tigers. Rio has an incredible talent for drawing and also loves all things Harry Potter. Recently, Rio has begun shooting at 3D archery tournaments with his big brother. Rio’s favorite thing to do is attend Auburn football games, spend time on the plains, and eventually attend engineering school there. Rio also recently gave his life to Christ and was baptized. Rio and his family feel extremely blessed that his health is great and he is currently living his best life as all 11 year olds should get to do. Rio and his family are extremely grateful for amazing organizations such as aTeam Ministries that go over and above for families currently going through the cancer journey and staying in touch with them long after.
Fly With Me, Acrylic, 30x36”

Cooper League

Cooper League was diagnosed on January 8th, 2018 with Medulloblastoma – a cancerous brain tumor. The medical team at Children’s of Alabama discovered a five centimeter mass on the cerebellum of his brain. Cooper was admitted to the hospital immediately and was in surgery just two days later. The surgery lasted nearly eight hours. Dr. Brandon Rocque was able to remove 80% of his tumor. Two days later, Cooper underwent his second craniotomy to remove the remaining 20% of the tumor. Two weeks post-surgery, on his second birthday, they placed Cooper’s port and they started his first round of induction chemotherapy the following week. Cooper was in and out of the hospital for five straight months. He was treated with the Headstart IV protocol. Cooper had 3 rounds of induction chemotherapy, 1 round of high-dose chemotherapy, and an autologous stem cell transplant. In May of 2023, Cooper will be celebrating 5 years post-transplant! He is now 7 years old and truly thriving. He loves playing baseball, exploring the outdoors, playing board games, solving math problems, and trying new things. Cooper is very adventurous and has little fear of anything. He adores his little sister, Olivia, and is fast friends with everyone he meets. He is a super special boy with a huge heart and has an incredible testimony to share with the world!
Flynn the Flamingo, Acrylic, 24x24”

Meet our inspiring 2024 heart2heart artists, read their cancer journey, and enjoy their smiling faces!

Meet Rachael, a spunky 6-year-old from Rogersville, Alabama, who found solace in the ocean while battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Through the heart2heart workshop, she channeled her love for the sea into her artwork, “The Ocean.” Join us in supporting Rachael’s journey and celebrating her resilience at the heart2heart event
Meet Lucas, a 12-year-old brain cancer survivor, from Cullman, whose artwork, “Morning Walk,” captures the beauty he found during his walks with his mom. Join us at the heart2heart event, where Lucas will celebrate the end of his treatment, inspiring us all with his resilience and creativity.
Meet Treson, a 13-year-old from Pelham, Alabama, who found inspiration in his two favorite things: the beach and basketball shoes. His artwork, “Serenity,” beautifully combines these elements. Despite being diagnosed with brain cancer in 2023, Treson’s unwavering faith has carried him through, and he now shows no evidence of the disease. Join us at the heart2heart event to celebrate Treson’s triumph and admire his incredible talent.
Meet Carol Ann, a vibrant 9-year-old from Vestavia Hills, Alabama, who poured her favorite colors and passion for abstract shapes into her artwork, “Faithful.” Despite being diagnosed with a Wilm’s Tumor before 2nd grade, Carol Ann’s resilience shines through. After completing treatment in 2023, she’s back to enjoying life with her loved ones, embracing every moment with joy and gratitude. Join us at the heart2heart event to witness Carol Ann’s artistic talent and celebrate her remarkable journey.