The 10 most amazing radiotherapy masks painted at Leeds Children's Hospital

Lobke Marsden is part of a team of specialists who support children and young people through their radiotherapy treatment.

By Daniel Sheridan
Friday, 5th July 2019, 5:18 pm
Lobke Marsden, who paints the masks for radiotherapy patients.
Lobke Marsden, who paints the masks for radiotherapy patients.

As part of her work, Lobke paints masks - which children must wear during radiotherapy treatment - to any theme given by the patients. Lobke Marsden said: “There are many things we cannot change but as a team we can change their experience. Something as simple as painting their masks can make their radiotherapy experience a more positive one which can only benefit the patient and their family.” Here are ten of the team's incredible creations, with an explanation from Lobke:

"We often get paint requests for superheroes which we feel is apt considering the treatment they have to go through. Young patients often dress up for treatment to match the character painted on their mask. By doing this they can feel empowered and that little bit braver while having their radiotherapy."
"We were told she loves Harry Potter and wanted a Harry Potter themed mask with a Ravenclaw uniform. Apart from the face painted in her favourite colour purple, there were no other requests and she was happy to leave it up to us."
"As a real Fortnite fan this boy asked for his mask to be painted as one of his favourite characters Drift. By painting the masks it can transform the way the masks are viewed by the patient. It is no longer a clinical looking device but something that is personal to them. This can improve their radiotherapy experience."
"This pineapple mask request certainly made us all smile. The patient told us : When you have to go through something like radiotherapy, you might as well have it as a pineapple!
"This girl asked us for butterflies, painted in her favourite colours, Tinkerbell and a unicorn in space. The smile on her face when she first saw her painted mask was heart warming."
"Many think adults arent interested in having their radiotherapy mask painted but this often isnt the case. Superheroes like Batman, Iron Man and Spiderman seem to be very popular or inspirational quotes painted on their masks."
"One of our most challenging requests yet was the Grinch as asked for by a teenage girl. Fortunately she loved it!"
"As a real Star Wars fan this young teenage boy wanted to have his mask painted as Darth Maul. It was a lovely surprise for him when Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself shared his mask on his Twitter feed and Ray Park, the actor that played Darth Maul got in touch. He was overjoyed to receive some signed goodies from his Star Wars hero."
"This patient had already received radiotherapy in the past. She told us that she should be The Queen of Radiotherapy as she was going through it for the second time. Every detail was chosen by her. From the type of jewellery to the perfect colour for her hair. She wanted her hair to look like it did before she lost it due to chemotherapy."
"He came up with the idea of having Thanos the Fortnite character painted wearing a rugby shirt of his favourite rugby team. However, he asked for this shirt to have the logo of the local rugby team he played for. We love the different ideas and designs our patients come up with! Anything goes!"
Lobke painted a batman mask for another patient.