A pair of god-like hands emerged from a Venice canal. Here's how they got there.

On May 13, a pair of god-like hands emerged from the canals of Venice, Italy.

Image from Lorenzo Quinn.

The building that the arms — which are an art installation titled "Support" — appear to be propping up is the historic Ca' Sagredo Hotel. The sculpture is on display as part of the 2017 La Biennale di Venezia, an annual art exhibition.


The sculpture is pretty magnificent and setting it up was a pretty big undertaking. Here's some of the incredible photos showing just what it took to get bring "Support" to life. (By the way, some of the Instagram pictures are actually videos. Be sure to hit play.)

"Support" was created by renowned artist Lorenzo Quinn.

Image from Lorenzo Quinn,

The hands were built off-site by Quinn and his team.

Just how big are they? One fingertip is the size of Quinn's head.

To get to their final display location, the hands were loaded on boats.

Image from Lorenzo Quinn,

What did you expect? This is Venice after all.

Navigating the narrow canals with the hands on board was no easy feat.

But they made it to Ca' Sagredo in one piece.

Image from Lorenzo Quinn,

Once there, cranes carefully maneuvered them into their final place against the hotel walls.

•SUPPORT• is here! The installation at the @ca_sagredo_venice #LorenzoQuinnVenice

A post shared by Halcyon Gallery (@halcyongallery) on

One down... one to go #venicebiennale2017 #halcyongallery #lorenzoquinn

A post shared by Lorenzo Quinn (@lorenzoquinnartist) on

Almost there...

A post shared by Lorenzo Quinn (@lorenzoquinnartist) on

The hands symbolize humanity's power to reshape the world for good or ill.

On Instagram, Quinn wrote that he hopes "Support" will inspire people "to support this wonder of city that is threatened by climate change. I hope my art brings a new focus of attention to a global calamity that we are faced with. "

Yes!...so happy to say mission accomplished. 'SUPPORT' in Venice to support this wonder of city that is threatened by climate change. I hope my art brings a new focus of attention to a global calamity that we are faced with. Art in 'Support' of art: Venice is now the art capital of the world during the Venice Biennale but the city of art is threatened and needs our help and protection. ------A big thank you to the city of Venice and especially to its Mayor Luigi Brugnaro for believing in this installation from the beginning, to Ca' Sagredo hotel represented by Lorenza Lain (the force of Nature) to C and C architectural Studio, Fulvio Caputo, Marco Zanon, Ufficine delle Zattere, Luisa Flora, Tecmolde, Julio and Irene Luzan and the entire team, She Digital, Grupoo Orseolo with Rein srl and the Gondolieri of Venice. To my super team in Spain at Quinn Creations To my family, my wife and especially my son Anthony for letting me use his hands, and of course to @halcyongallery , representanted by Paul Green, Udi Sheleg and assisted by Shani, Helga and all in the gallery, because without their continued organizational, moral, artistic and financial 'support' none of this could have happened. #biennale2017venezia #biennale2017 #lorenzoquinn #lorenzoquinnartist #venezia #halcyongallery #support #supportart #climatechange

A post shared by Lorenzo Quinn (@lorenzoquinnartist) on

"The hand holds so much power — the power to love, to hate, to create, to destroy," said Quinn in a press release.

A big thank you to all for your comments and likes. It's been overwhelming. I wish I could thank each and everyone of you individually. This sculpture 'Support' placed in Venice at Ca' Sagredo, coinciding with the opening of the Venice Biennale, wants to speak to the people in a clear, simple and direct way through the innocent hands of a child and it evokes a powerful message which is that united we can make a stand to curb the climate change that affects us all. We must all collectively think of how we can protect our planet and by doing that we can protect our national heritage sites... Support our planet support our heritage! A warm hug, Lorenzo THE INSTALLATION WILL BE AT CA' SAGREDO UNTIL NOVEMBER 26th a #halcyongallery #casagredohotelvenice #lorenzoquinn #lorenzoquinnartist #biennale2017 #LorenzoQuinnVenice #support #supportart #worldheritage #worldheritagesite

A post shared by Lorenzo Quinn (@lorenzoquinnartist) on

Venice is an amazing city, but it'll need people's support to survive into the future.

Image from Lorenzo Quinn,

"Venice is a floating art city that has inspired cultures for centuries," said Quinn. "But to continue to do so it needs the support of our generation and future ones, because it is threatened by climate change and time decay."

It's true. Climate change could end up sinking the historic city in less than a century — and Venice isn't the only city in this situation. In response, the city is currently working on a massive flood barrier.

Our history, and our future, truly is in our hands.

We just need to decide what we want to do with them.

By the way, if you want a hands-on project of your own, you can always plant a tree, pen a letter to Congress, or volunteer with your local museum or historical society. Just a thought!

via ABC and Bee Gees / YouTube

A year ago a woman in Pearland, Texas helped save her husband's life because of her quick thinking and the sweet, four-on-the-floor disco beat of the Bee Gees.

After finishing a two-mile run with her husband Quan, Ganesa Collins watched him fall to the ground. "We sat on the bench, and he was in front of me," Collins told ABC. "I was standing behind and stretching, and he just went face forward. His head hit the dirt."

She quickly called 911 and the operator said he was having a heart attack.

Keep Reading Show less
via ABC and Bee Gees / YouTube

A year ago a woman in Pearland, Texas helped save her husband's life because of her quick thinking and the sweet, four-on-the-floor disco beat of the Bee Gees.

After finishing a two-mile run with her husband Quan, Ganesa Collins watched him fall to the ground. "We sat on the bench, and he was in front of me," Collins told ABC. "I was standing behind and stretching, and he just went face forward. His head hit the dirt."

She quickly called 911 and the operator said he was having a heart attack.

Keep Reading Show less
True

Each year, an estimated 1.8 million people in the United States are affected by cancer — most commonly cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, and blood cancers such as leukemia. While not everyone overcomes the disease, thanks to science, more people are surviving — and for longer — than ever before in history.

We asked three people whose lives have been impacted by cancer to share their stories – how their lives were changed by the disease, and how they're using that experience to change the future of cancer treatments with the hope that ultimately, in the fight against cancer, science will win. Here's what they had to say.

Celine Ryan, 55, engineer database programmer and mother of five from Detroit, MI

Photo courtesy of Celine Ryan

In September 2013, Celine Ryan woke up from a colonoscopy to some traumatic news. Her gastroenterologist showed her a picture of the cancerous mass they found during the procedure.

Ryan and her husband, Patrick, had scheduled a colonoscopy after discovering some unusual bleeding, so the suspicion she could have cancer was already there. Neither of them, however, were quite prepared for the results to be positive -- or for the treatment to begin so soon. Just two days after learning the news, Ryan had surgery to remove the tumor, part of her bladder, and 17 cancerous lymph nodes. Chemotherapy and radiation soon followed.

Ryan's treatment was rigorous – but in December 2014, she got the devastating news that the cancer, once confined to her colon, had spread to her lungs. Her prognosis, they said, was likely terminal.

But rather than give up hope, Ryan sought support from online research, fellow cancer patients and survivors, and her medical team. When she brought up immunotherapy to her oncologist, he quickly agreed it was the best course of action. Ryan's cancer, like a majority of colon and pancreatic cancers, had been caused by a defect on the gene KRAS, which can result in a very aggressive cancer that is virtually "undruggable." According to the medical literature, the relatively smooth protein structure of the KRAS gene meant that designing inhibitors to bind to surface grooves and treat the cancer has been historically difficult. Through her support systems, Ryan discovered an experimental immunotherapy trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD., and called them immediately to see if she was eligible. After months of trying to determine whether she was a suitable candidate for the experimental treatment, Ryan was finally accepted.

The treatment, known as tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy, or TIL, is a testament to how far modern science has evolved. With this therapy, doctors remove a tumor and harvest special immune cells that are found naturally in the tumor. Doctors then grow the cells in a lab over the next several weeks with a protein that promotes rapid TIL growth – and once the cells number into the billions, they are infused back into the patient's body to fight the cancer. On April 1, 2015, Ryan had her tumor removed at the NIH. Two months later, she went inpatient for four weeks to have the team "wash out" her immune system with chemotherapy and infuse the cells – all 148 billion of them – back into her body.

Six weeks after the infusion, Ryan and Patrick went back for a follow-up appointment – and the news they got was stunning: Not only had no new tumors developed, but the six existing tumors in her lungs had shrunk significantly. Less than a year after her cell infusion, in April 2016, the doctors told Ryan news that would have been impossible just a decade earlier: Thanks to the cell infusion, Ryan was now considered NED – no evaluable disease. Her body was cancer-free.

Ryan is still NED today and continuing annual follow-up appointments at the NIH, experiencing things she never dreamed she'd be able to live to see, such as her children's high school and college graduations. She's also donating her blood and cells to the NIH to help them research other potential cancer treatments. "It was an honor to do so," Ryan said of her experience. "I'm just thrilled, and I hope my experience can help a lot more people."

Patrice Lee, PhD, VP of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Exploratory Development at Pfizer

Photo courtesy of Patrice Lee

Patrice Lee got into scientific research in an unconventional way – through the late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Lee never met Cousteau but her dreams of working with him one day led her to pursue a career in science. Initially, Lee completed an undergraduate degree in marine biology; eventually, her interests changed and she decided to get a dual doctoral degree in physiology and toxicology at Duke University. She now works at Pfizer's R&D site in Boulder, CO (formerly Array BioPharma), leading a group of scientists who determine the safety and efficacy of new oncology drugs.

"Scientists focused on drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry are deeply committed to inventing new therapies to meet unmet needs," Lee says, describing her field of work. "We're driven to achieve new medicines and vaccines as quickly as possible without sacrificing safety."

Among the drugs Lee has helped develop during her career, including cancer therapies, she says around a dozen are currently in development, while nine have received FDA approval — an incredible accomplishment as many scientists spend their careers without seeing their drug make it to market. Lee's team is particularly interested in therapies for brain metastases — something that Lee says is a largely unmet need in cancer research, and something her team is working on from a variety of angles. "Now that we've had rapid success with mRNA vaccine technology, we hope to explore what the future holds when applying this technology to cancers," Lee says.

But while evaluating potential cancer therapies is a professional passion of Lee's, it's also a mission that's deeply personal. "I'm also a breast cancer survivor," she says. "So I've been on the other side of things and have participated in a clinical trial."

However, seeing how melanoma therapies that she helped develop have affected other real-life cancer patients, she says, has been a highlight of her career. "We had one therapy that was approved for patients with BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma," Lee recalls. "Our team in Boulder was graced by a visit from a patient that had benefited from these drugs that we developed. It was a very special moment for the entire team."

None of these therapies would be available, Lee says without rigorous science behind it: "Facts come from good science. Facts will drive the development of new drugs, and that's what will help patients."

Chiuying "Cynthia" Kuk (they/them) MS, 34, third-year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Kuk

Cynthia Kuk was just 10 years old when they had a conversation that would change their life forever.

"My mother, who worked as a translator for the government at the time, had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and after her chemotherapy treatments she would get really sick," Kuk, who uses they/them pronouns, recalls. "When I asked my dad why mom was puking so much, he said it was because of the medicine she was taking that would help her get better."

Kuk's response was immediate: "That's so stupid! Why would a medicine make you feel worse instead of better? When I'm older, I want to create medicine that won't make people sick like that."

Nine years later, Kuk traveled from their native Hong Kong to the United States to do exactly that. Kuk enrolled in a small, liberal arts college for their Bachelor's degree, and then four years later started a PhD program in cancer research. Although Kuk's mother was in remission from her cancer at the time, Kuk's goal was the same as it had been as a 10-year-old watching her suffer through chemotherapy: to design a better cancer treatment, and change the landscape of cancer research forever.

Since then, Kuk's mission has changed slightly.

"My mom's cancer relapsed in 2008, and she ended up passing away about five years after that," Kuk says. "After my mom died, I started having this sense of urgency. Cancer research is such that you work for twenty years, and at the end of it you might have a fancy medication that could help people, but I wanted to help people now." With their mother still at the forefront of their mind, Kuk decided to quit their PhD program and enter medical school.

Now, Kuk plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine – not only because they are drawn to the excitement of the emergency room, but because the ER is a place where the most marginalized people tend to seek care.

"I have a special interest in the LGBTQ+ population, as I identify as queer and nonbinary," says Kuk. "A lot of people in this community and other marginalized communities access care through the ER and also tend to avoid medical care since there is a history of mistreatment and judgement from healthcare workers. How you carry yourself as a doctor, your compassion, that can make a huge difference in someone's care."

In addition to making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ patients, Kuk wants to make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer as well, like their mother had.

"We've diagnosed patients in the Emergency Department with cancer before," Kuk says. "I can't make cancer good news but how you deliver bad news and the compassion you show could make a world of difference to that patient and their family."

During their training, Kuk advocates for patients by delivering compassionate and inclusive care, whether they happen to have cancer or not. In addition to emphasizing their patient's pronouns and chosen names, they ask for inclusive social and sexual histories as well as using gender neutral language. In doing this, they hope to make medicine as a whole more accessible for people who have been historically pushed aside.

"I'm just one person, and I can't force everyone to respect you, if you're marginalized," Kuk says. "But I do want to push for a culture where people appreciate others who are different from them."