Columbus, OH,
12:00 PM

Cancer Healing Garden Opens at the Delaware Health Center

There’s no doubt about it. Receiving a cancer diagnosis and then going through treatment can be stressful for patients and their families.

“The cancer journey is one that often has a lot of anxiety and stress around it. Patients spend a lot of time at the care site,” said Maria Tucker, administrative nurse manager at the OhioHealth Delaware Health Center.

And when that journey leads them to the Delaware Health Center, and OhioHealth Cancer Care, the time spent throughout their journey will look a little different.

In late May, the Delaware County community got its first look at the now open cancer healing garden, with a special dedication.

“This was a mound of dirt just a year ago. To watch it evolve is amazing,” Tucker said.

To get that mound of dirt turned into something that will hopefully lift spirits, provide a quiet place to go, or just a peaceful place to rest and listen, took a true team effort.

“This was really a community effort. The community of Delaware really joined together and embraced this project for the benefit of cancer patients,” Tucker said.

This dedication is possible thanks to generous donations from businesses and individuals in Delaware County. Leading the way, groups like Oberfields, which donated materials, time and talent.

“When we were first approached, for me and Bruce Loris, the president of the company, it was a matter of not ‘can we help’, but ‘to what extent will we help.’ When you are dealing with cancer, it affects everybody,” Matt Moore of Oberfields said. “We felt like this was a project we wanted to go all in on, just give what we could, and give generously. This area turned out beautifully.”

Oberfields was not alone in its giving. Other businesses stepped forward, associates from OhioHealth, too, and community members from Delaware County. For the OhioHealth Foundation, this dedication is a show of what can happen with individual and community support. And now that it’s complete, it really starts to sink in. This is a special space that will mean so much to so many.

“Look at where we are standing. This isn’t just going to be here for today, this will be here for decades and centuries to come,” said OhioHealth System Philanthropy Director Ryan Marshall. “It’s an immeasurable impact that is going to mean something to someone down the road. Whether they are coming here to have a reflective moment or just trying to find a quiet place to escape, it’s a direct impact on someone. Down the road, that person might say, ‘this was here for me, now what can I do to pass on that gratitude.’”

Getting here wasn’t easy. Spring weather wasn’t kind to the construction teams. But there was no quit, no giving up.

“It’s our backyard. We really want to take care of Delaware County,” Moore said. “To now be here, it’s a great day, and we had a lot of fun.” 

It didn’t take long for patients and their families to find their way to the garden.

“The healing garden just opened, and as we were starting to plan for this event, we had a patient who was out here a couple of days ago, watching us prepare,” Tucker said. “It was just kind of nice to see them standing out here, and really seeing that this space, knowing that it was for them and that the community came together to create a space especially for them.”

That is what this dedication and garden are all about. Those families, in the fight of their lives, knowing how many hands worked on this, for them.

“For those of us who get to go around to different communities and think about the impact that philanthropy has had, it’s amazing. Knowing the people that have gone through meaningful care or feel moved to want to give back. That’s what makes this garden special, and makes this community special, too,” Marshall said.