Closer to Free mural brightens Water Street mural for Smilow

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Since 2010, Smilow Cancer Hospital advertising has used the upbeat song by the BoDeans called Closer to Free to drive home the message that each year, increasing numbers of patients are able to live with cancer as a chronic illness because of the care and groundbreaking research at Smilow Cancer Hospital. The latest iteration of Closer to Free is a large-scale mural located on a building's brick wall on nearby Water Street, about one mile from Smilow Cancer Hospital. On a sunny fall afternoon, the hospital sent out a call for employees, patients and their caregivers to come to the Water Street site and help paint the mural while cameras captured their work for a new campaign. The life-celebrating ad campaign will make its Connecticut and Westchester debut on TV and radio, online and in print in January. Desiréé Sanchis, RN, a nurse on the Outpatient Infusion Unit in Smilow Cancer Hospital, invited former patient Mark Tardie to help paint the mural. Sanchis treated Tardie, of Madison, seven years ago.