Daughter helps others after mother is diagnosed with breast cancer

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MERIDEN -- October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one Meriden teen has used her artistic talent and inspiration from her mother, a survivor, to spread the word.

Emma Rapuano, a senior at Sheehan High School, has put together a tile collage to raise awareness for breast cancer patients. It's been about 10 years since her mother was diagnosed, however she wanted to use this school project to give back to cancer patients.

She said she wanted the mural to be 3-D to show how there's multiple layers to the illness.

"Its not just the physical ailments and seeing her not feel good," said Rapuano. "It's also she's not home for a while because of her surgery, it's also going to treatments with her, making connections with all the other people in the treatment room."

As Rapuano was researching breast cancer for her school project she found that many patients aren't as fortunate as her mother.

"I came across a bunch of stories of certain insurance companies dropping their patients for very invalid, meticulous reasons that kind of shocked me completely," said Rapuano.

She was inspired to raise money for cancer patients selling the tiles that make up her mural. She raised almost $300.

Rapuano said she hopes the mural hanging in MidState Medical Center in Meriden will give cancer patients hope.