SCOTTSDALE, AZ - In the spring of 2011, Cyndy Carstens opened Carstens Fine Art Studio & Gallery, in Scottsdale.
She'd finally fulfilled her dream of opening a place to work and showcase her art.
But by October of 2013, her dreams completely changed.
Her son Jonathan, who grew up in the Valley, attended North Canyon High School, and later Phoenix College, had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma bone cancer.
Married just two years, and a new father to a 10-month-old son, the 33-year-old is in need of a bone marrow transplant.
"My dream now is for my son to not have to worry about how he is going to feed his family." said Carstens "Insurance takes care of a larger portion, but it's not going to take care of everything."
She went on to say, "He has medication that, just one pill, is $550, and he has to take 21 one of them a month!"
To help raise funds, she held a live painting event last month and a raffle at her gallery. She gave herself three hours to paint a picture that the winner of the raffle would then take home.
"A 24 by 30! That is not an easy task!," she said.
Local musicians, the Sherry Finzer/Darin Mahoney Duo , played at the show free of charge and donated the proceeds from the sale of their CDs.
"My son has an attitude of utter strength." said Carstens. "He's always smiling, and joyful. Joy is what makes life worth living."
"That's why my paintings are happy. It's important to be happy even if sometimes I'm sad," she said.
The raffle raised a total of $11,240 to help with her son's medical expenses, far exceeding her expectations.
"It's far from over," she said. "If I were to tell someone anything it would be to love each other. No matter what. That's the most important thing of all."
Cyndy Carstens has created web page to help raise further donations .