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Unbridled creativity

Teen suffering from chronic pain pulls off remarkable beading feats

By WITW Staff on February 17, 2016

A teen in Denmark hasn’t let debilitating chronic pain stop her will to be creative. Nete Hangel, 18, has embarked on a remarkable endeavor to create an enormous Pokémon mural. The portion she’s completed thus far is certainly impressive. It depicts a sampling of the Pokémon characters, explodes with vivid colors and was made using 45,000 Hama and Nabbi beads. For the last seven years, Hangel has been battling chronic pain. It’s disrupted her life in multiple ways; getting an education has become more complicated than for the average teen and she had to give up sailing, her favorite sport. Getting doctors to take her pain seriously was a feat in and of itself. Early diagnoses from doctors concluded that the pain was “all in her head,” she told The Daily Dot in an interview. Finally, at 14 she was prescribed medication, but all the while had been coping with her pain by creating intricate and vivid fan-art of her top pop culture favorites, like Harry Potter and Adventure Time. “It’s been a coping method and a thing I could do even if I couldn’t think straight because of pain and pain meds,” Hanel said. She was at times taking as many as 24 prescribed painkillers a day, after doctors eventually diagnosed the rare condition that was causing her pain. The Pokémon project is her latest and biggest yet. When it’s completed, Hangel expects the mural to be more than seven feet tall.

Read the full story and see more of her extraordinary work at The Daily Dot.