I consider myself lucky that my circle of friends in high school included not only those my age, but teachers as well. One of these incredible individuals was Peter Hayes, my freshman biology teacher. For many, the sciences can be daunting, but Mr. Hayes' enthusiasm made every lesson and every quiz memorable and engaging. Even his final exams, though exacting, were a joy to take. All hand-written, his tests were replete with climbing stick figures and detailed drawings of various flora and fauna.
His classroom was similarly memorable, and vibrant student projects (trophies from 18 successful years in the same position) decorated the walls and served to remind us of the great things that we could (and would) do.
in 2013, Peter was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a disease that scars lung tissue over time. Even in the face of adversity, Peter has remained optimistic and creative, completing paintings, sculptures, and hand-drawn books from his time as a river guide. Perhaps most incredibly, Mr. Hayes has also helped to establish "The Mr. Hays Research Fund for IPF," a tax-deductible donation feed into the University of Utah medical school that has raised roughly $65,000 since its creation about a year ago. 100% of all proceeds go directly to the lab that's helping to treat Peter and others battling this same ailment. For details on how to contribute and get involved, please see below for the incredible flyer that Peter put together himself.
As a result of IPF, Peter is no longer able to paint, but his work and the fund he helped to create will influence and aid those for generations to come. Truly, few others have made as much good as the incomparable and unstoppable Mr. Hayes.
Click the thumbnails below to view a sampling of Peter Hayes' work