Christmas Special Edition: Empowering Cancer Ward Patients with a Smile – Inspiring Story of Rock Artist Elena Marisol Gomez of RockStreet Collective

Today’s Christmas special edition invites you to celebrate the great gestures of kindness and support Elena Marisol Gomez offers to those in need. I hope you enjoy!

Elena only began her artistic journey at the beginning of this year. As an oncology nurse at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto - Ontario, Canada, Elena embraced her art and craft exercises as a form of escaping from the stress and emotional toll that come with nursing people when they are at their most vulnerable.


Painted rocks magic mandalas golden dots by Elena Marisol Gomez

Photo: Painted rocks by Elena Marisol Gomez | Facebook | Instagram |


"I find the act of painting the rock is almost like meditation. It’s therapeutic.", she says.

More recently Elena began offering her rock creations to her cancer challenged patients. "In the back of my mind, I always thought it would be neat to give my painted rocks to patients but I wasn't sure how it would be perceived".

But one day, a young patient "was having a really bad day”. Elena went to her locker, grabbed a painted rock and offered it by saying: "If I'm sad, I use this to become centred. It helps me. Maybe it can help you."

The response was metamorphic. "I didn't expect it", says Elena, still surprised months later. "Her sadness turned to happiness".

Painted stone golden dot heart by Elena Marisol Gomez

Photo: Painted rock by Elena Marisol Gomez | Facebook | Instagram |


Since then on, Elena continued to offer painted rocks to her patients. As Pearlina Dawes, Nurse Manager at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre says: "Elena is using her hobby to touch the lives of other people”. Bob Stein whose wife was also gifted with a wonderful painted rock mentions: “Elena’s gift (n.a. A rock painted with the words “You are strong”) really warmed our hearts. When you're going through a tough situation, you really appreciate people doing things for you."

Many patients have benefited from such acts of kindness. Even these days, to celebrate the Christmas holidays, Elena is painting more than 50 rocks, one for each of the patients in the cancer wards!

Painted rock magnificent flower mandala home decoration by Elena Marisol Gomez

Photo: Painted rock by Elena Marisol Gomez | Facebook | Instagram |


Elena’s rocks embody astonishing mandala designs or inspirational messages such as Hope, Love and You are strong. With each of her rocks, Elena has the power to change pain into a smile, despair into hope, sadness into strength.

To this, Elena kindly responds: "When they find it meaningful, it makes it more meaningful to me."​

Affirmation rocks, painted stones with meaningful content, dot art by Elena Marisol Gomez

Photo: Painted rock by Elena Marisol Gomez | Facebook | Instagram |


I will end Elena’s beautiful story with her amazing discourse. For this special edition I only asked her this: What is your biggest dream? What would you like to achieve in the New Year, not just for your patients, but for YOURSELF?

My biggest dream and wish is to achieve unconditional love, happiness, and inner peace. This is my ultimate goal. I want my soul to feel content. I want to feel full of joy and love. I think that by helping my family, friends, and others and by being a productive member of society  I can achieve all these. Helping others in any way that I can always makes my soul feel full. Rock Painting is one activity that has helped me to do this and I am very grateful.

Also, my husband always says how awesome it would be to just move to some tropical place. He wants a fruit stand. He says we can sell fruit and rocks :) . I picture us being on the beach. I always think how amazing this would be. That's my dream

Credit offered to UHN Canada whose story about Elena served as a source of information for this article.

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  • Christine Onward
Comments 5
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  • Elena Gomez
    Elena Gomez

    Thank you all for your kind comments. Blessings to you all this coming new year ? Angela, I hope that your pain is being managed well and wish you the best of health ?? It is great that you paint rocks to raise awareness . It is amazing you do this especially when you are suffering from this disease. Keep at it! You are awesome ???

  • Maria Endler
    Maria Endler

    Such lovely work and a really worthwhile cause. Blessings this special Season. Aloha.

  • Angela McMillan winter
    Angela McMillan winter

    So awesome, your rocks are your legacy, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that is called AS which stands for Ankylosing Spondylitis and Sacroliliitis which simply means my immune system is attacking my health joints and tissue and fusing to make one bone and I started painting rocks for awareness, uplifting for many who suffer in silence thank you

  • Lyzzz


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