New Found Artist Gives Back to Pediatric Cancer Causes

John D. Herz not only inspires the world through his pencil drawings, but now will be supporting The Max Cure Foundation (MCF) through his incredible gift. John always enjoyed drawing, but did not consider himself an artist. John never took lessons and drew occasionally as the mood hit him. Then on John’s 58th birthday, Nancy, his significant other and muse, as a surprise took John to an art store and had him pick out supplies, which became his birthday present. This gift sparked a passion for drawing and the search for the perfect subject. At the time, he had not picked up a pencil in over 8 years. John saw things differently, and his talent was taken to a whole new level. John had been an entrepreneur and had been in business over much of his life. During the last eight years John put all his energy into his artwork. You can visit his website here to witness firsthand the incredible talent that lay dormant in John until the autumn of his life.

Last year the five year old grandson (Luke) of John’s cousin Bob was diagnosed with cancer.  John is very close to Bob and the knowledge that this horrific disease struck so “near to home” opened John’s eyes to what many others in this country were facing – engaging in the battle to overcome childhood cancers.  Luke was among the 15,500 children diagnosed with cancer last year in this country, 80% of whom will survive five years from diagnosis, with 20% dying during that five year period.  If a specific form of Leukemia is removed from the equation, the five year survival rate is reduced to less than 65%. Of those children that survive, there is a ten times greater mortality rate due to the increased risk of heart and liver disease as well as recurrence of the cancer.  To John and his family, though, statistics did not matter – they were confronting Luke’s cancer on a daily basis, hoping (and praying) that he will be among those that survive.  Luke is currently doing well and appears to be winning the battle, a battle that will continue even if he does survive the five years given the high incidence among childhood cancer survivors of side-effects that plague the children throughout their lives as a result of being exposed to chemotherapy and radiation, both standard forms of treating cancer.

Recently, Nancy’s son Jason Levine introduced John to David Plotkin, Chairman of MCF. John was told that David and his family formed MCF in 2008 following David’s son’s diagnosis of cancer at the age of 4.  Max is now 10 years old and a six year cancer survivor.  John was especially anxious to meet David and learn more about MCF in that he understood as a result of Luke’s journey over the last year how devastating it was to a family to have a child diagnosed with cancer on many different levels, both psychological and financial.

John had been looking for a charity to partner with – allowing John to donate a significant portion of the receipts from the sale of his artwork to that charity. John recently told Max’s grandfather, Richard, Vice Chairman of MCF, that given his family’s experience over the last year with Luke’s cancer, it was fate that brought him to MCF saying, “There is no greater cause that I could think to support than fighting childhood cancer and after learning about MCF, there is no better charity to align myself with.”

The relationship between John and MCF was formed, with both promising to make a difference in the world of pediatric cancers – fighting together a parent’s worst nightmare, a child with cancer.

john d herz pencil art

Some of John’s collections include “The Uncommon Man New York” and “The Uncommon Man Bahamas”, a group of common faces we too often avoid, but have deep stories to share.  From his “Bridgehampton Polo” to “Reflections on 5th,” to the five foot tall “Kiss Against the Wall” John “paints with his pencil” moments that deserve to be captured for eternity.

Within the next month you will be able to purchase from MCF, a John D. Herz original drawing, a signed and numbered limited edition giclee, or a print through The Max Cure Foundation with a significant portion of the proceeds going towards advancing MCF’S mission. The purchaser will be given a receipt which would allow a tax deduction subject to the applicable law. Every month John will feature additional artwork available for a limited time to Max Cure supporters only. Stay tuned for more information. Also, fill out the form below if you would like to commission John for an original piece that will support Max Cure.