Joy and inspiration on our own front door!

It’s hard not to smile when you walk through the door of the cc-TDI lab. We are so grateful for the amazing artwork of Portland artist Gary Hirsch ( that adorns our entrance and makes us take a moment to think “what does inspire me.” Gary’s Bots are small (and sometimes, big as in the case of our door) totemic, art objects programmed to bring joy, hope, courage and inspiration. Gary spreads this artistic joy by making thousands of Bots painted small on the back of dominos (most recent Bot count is 37,456!), in addition to a few painted giant on the sides of buildings, and (of course!) the Bot now welcoming anyone who walks into the cc-TDI lab.

As the new interim executive director, I wanted to learn a little bit more about what inspires our lab family when they walk through our BotJoy door each morning. Here are a few of their responses to the question “What Inspires You?”

Our Scientific Director, Dr. Charles Keller shared, “I met a 5th grader yesterday who I happened to ask the same question. What she said resonated with me – ‘just to know how things work’. That sense of wonder is at the core of every child,and many scientists. We’re clearly dedicated to a cause, and applying science to a mission (to make childhood cancer uniformly survivable). But what keeps us true is the pursuit of truth, and a sense of wonder for the miracle of everything around us.”

Scientist Andy Woods said, “My daughter, a cancer survivor, inspires me daily to work hard to discover more-effective and less-toxic treatments for all children with cancer.” Our Director of Operations Christina Luethe responded, “I’m inspired by…curiosity and evolution. To be curious enough to figure out how to nurture growth, understanding and change even in times of challenge.” Scientist Ken Crawford shared, “I’m inspired by the fearlessness and dedication of my colleagues. Also, I’m inspired by my children; they inspire me to work for a better a future.” And scientist Dina Kats commented, “I’m inspired by people who act selflessly regardless of the odds against them.”

As for me, when I walk up to the cc-TDI lab each morning and see our Bot, I can’t help but be inspired by the energy, talent, dedication and kindness that greet me upon opening the door. It’s incredibly inspiring to be a part of a team that is living each day with impact, working tirelessly to make childhood cancer universally survivable.

Huge thank you to Gary for bringing joy and inspiration to us with his beautiful art! #BotJoy


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