Astria Cancer Center wants to create a healing garden for patients | New
SUNNYSIDE, Washington. – The Astria Cancer Center in Sunnyside is looking to create a healing garden for its patients undergoing treatment.
Astria staff said their patients deserved to watch something that would help them feel at peace. Studies also show that healing gardens can have many benefits, such as symptom relief.
Oncology director Elizabeth Martinez said the idea for a healing garden was inspired by one of their recently deceased patients. Martinez said the patient enjoyed watching the squirrels running outside the window and looking at nature.
“Every time she came it was a pretty stressful time for her, we noticed that, and she said she wished she had something beautiful to watch,” Martinez said.
The Cancer Center hopes to honor this patient in the garden in some way.
Kirk Lyman has been a patient in treatment at Astria Cancer Center for six years now. He said the exterior of the building does not match the warm environment inside.
“The staff are loving and caring, literally loving and caring,” Lyman said. “On the other hand, I look here, I see a street and I see cars, sidewalks, there is nothing there that supports me or comforts me.”
Lyman thinks a healing garden would help patients focus on its beauty rather than all the emotions they feel during treatment.
“It just gives you something else to realize that there is more to life than what you see here inside this clinic and that life can go on and that life still has beautiful things to do. offer,” he said.
He donated $100 to help make the garden possible. The Cancer Center is looking to raise $40,000 in total to build the garden and is asking the community to help.
Anyone in the community can donate or purchase a bench or paver to be placed in the garden. These pews and pavers can be used to honor a loved one with cancer, someone who has died of cancer, or simply include a family name.
People can choose their preferred way to donate on Astria’s website.
A local scout, Sam Jensen, helps build the garden benches for his eagle scout project. Including a treehouse bench around one of the trees in the garden.
“Scouts looking to finish scouts get experience in leadership and managing a job because that’s what scouts are all about, turning young boys into men,” Jensen said.
Once he completes this project and earns two more merit badges, he can move up in rank. In addition to his scouting project, he also has the opportunity to help patients like Kirk.
“I love helping out with the cancer care center, I’ve heard a lot of stories from people who have had cancer and I lost a grandparent on both sides of the family before I was born to cancer, so it means a lot to me that I can help,” Jenson said.