Cancer Survivors Park Visit
Started as a high school senior’s dream of creating a beautiful and tranquil area for cancer patients during treatment, the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance (CSPA) has brought that dream to reality through unique public/private partnerships and amazingly supportive donors who brought the 6.8 acre Cancer Survivors Park to the heart of downtown Greenville. CSPA’s mission to change the way we live with cancer addresses the need for a common space, outside of the hospital setting, where cancer information is easily accessible to all, regardless of where treatment is received or where a survivor is along their cancer journey. The Cancer Survivors Park is CSPA’s venue to provide spaces for patients and all survivors to reclaim control over their lives. Each element within the park has been chosen and designed to create a place of hope and healing, bringing people together to share stories of survivorship–as a patient, caregiver, or someone who is suffering the loss of a loved one to cancer–and providing opportunities for engaging the mind, body, and soul in the healing process. In the heart of the Cancer Survivors Park is the Center for Hope & Healing (CHH), a survivorship resource and education center. While there are numerous programs designed to help survivors, many people report frustration in accessing those resources. The Center for Hope & Healing is designed to address this need and provide a holistic, community-centered, easily accessible, technologically-sophisticated, relaxing, and inspiring venue for connecting survivors with the diverse programs and resources available across the Upstate. Positioned in the middle of the park, the Center will provide space for CSPA’s local partner organizations to conduct a variety of survivorship programs including nutrition and art classes, yoga and exercise sessions, and support and grief groups. In addition, the resource center will help survivors access information and connect them with programs and providers throughout the Upstate, regardless of when or where they are receiving medical treatment. “It will be years before the value of the Cancer Survivors Park is understood. Yet, I can already glimpse its significance. Calling the area a “Cancer Survivors Park” is a tremendous responsibility, as it seeks to capture a journey that nearly escapes words but encompasses the vast span of human emotions. It’s scale and depth are not available anywhere else. We will all benefit from what the visionaries behind the park have created.” – Maurie Lawrence is the mother of daughter Clara, leukemia survivor. She is also a volunteer, contributor and beneficiary of the Cancer Survivors Park.