Cancer is a disease that has touched the lives of many.  Unfortunately, it has recently affected a young adult in the local community.  Last June, I wrote an article about the HOPE mural that local artist Philip Easton Landers painted at the Fifth Element on Broadway.  This design has become synonymous with the positive and uplifting nature that embodies who Phil is as a person and how he lives his life.  

Philip Easton Landers is a native Newporter who grew up in the Fifth Ward.  He is a local artist, designer, youth sports coach, and an incredibly dedicated father of two.  If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Phil, you know that he is as genuine as they come and always willing to go above and beyond to help others.  

On November 11th, Philip was diagnosed with Metastatic Spinal cancer.  Last week he underwent extensive surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible.  Doctors were able to remove the larger tumor on his spine and there is another in his lower spinal cord that proved too invasive to remove surgically.  Continued treatment is now needed, and he will undergo radiation once he is healed from the procedure.  Phil has a long road ahead of him and he needs our help now more than ever. 

In that June 2020 article, Philip told WhatsUpNewp that the ‘HOPE’ piece that he created “represents the hurdles that I have been faced with in my personal life and thankfully overcome.  I know people face that each day.  I hope this gives them whatever it is that they may need.  There’s a sense of satisfaction when someone overcomes obstacles in their life.  No matter how far down you’ve fallen, you can never give up HOPE.”  

Philip’s girlfriend, Katherine LaViolette has organized a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses and family needs.  Here is the link to the fundraising page as well as an insert that she wrote about Phil.  

“Philip Landers is an artist, a designer, a youth sports coach, a constant support to the sober community, and above all, an incredible father. First becoming a dad in high school, he now has two exceptional children, ages 9 and 12, and they are the loves of his life. Philip is unassuming and humble. Kindness and spirituality gently radiate through him unto all who he meets. He believes in the goodness of others because he is no stranger to the hardships of life in all of its multitudes. He has been sober for 6 years and works tirelessly to support others who struggle in the ways he did by being a dedicated member of the AA fellowship. His entire life has been dedicated to change and progression. Philip’s work as a freelance artist surrounds the word “HOPE.” Before his diagnosis, he volunteered his time to creative therapy workshops with handicapped adults who wanted to emulate his own artistic process. Philip is the kind of person who, the nights that he has been in the hospital, writes down, “how can I be of service to someone else today?” But more than anything, Philip wants to make you laugh. He is easy to root for and now he needs it in return, from you, more than ever. If you love Philip and love what he represents, please help him.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

As of 4 pm on Monday, November 22, 326 donations had been made on the GoFundMe page – raising $41,372 of a $55,000 goal.

When I spoke to Philip this week, he was recovering and said the pain was manageable enough to get up and walk around for a bit.  He said that he’s been thinking about this experience as another battle to conquer and how he can use this time to help someone else who may be struggling.  Even when he is struggling, he is thinking about how he can help others.  Selfless and sincere are two words that perfectly define Philip’s approach to life.  
If you have the means, any donation is overwhelmingly appreciated by Philip and his family.    

Tyler Bernadyn

Born and raised in the Ocean State, Tyler is a Providence College graduate ('11) who proudly calls Newport home. A professional realtor by trade, he prides himself on building relationships and sharing his love for Rhode Island with others. He is an active member of the local community, a weekly contributor for WhatsUpNewp and is involved with a number of charitable causes. An avid traveler, you can find him exploring whenever possible. When he's not working, he enjoys golfing, boating, cooking, walking his dog Red and enjoying time with family and friends.

Tyler is a Providence College graduate who proudly calls Newport home. He is an avid traveler, golfer and has a passion for cooking and entertaining. Tyler is a weekly contributor for WhatsUpNewp and is involved in a number of community events and local charities. In his down time, you can find Tyler walking his two rescue dogs, Bella and Red or enjoying time with family and friends.