A garden is a planned space set aside for display, cultivation and enjoyment. Hope is the belief in a positive outcome even when circumstances seem dire. Established by The Conquer Cancer Coalition of Massachusetts (www.conquercancer.org), the Cancer Garden of Hope growing in Boston’s City Hall Plaza is a reminder that no one has to manage their cancer journey alone. Just as it takes many hands with different experiences to grow a garden, as a team we can work together to lessen cancer’s impact.
We first met with the Zuker family, founders of the Conquer Cancer Coalition, when Joe was recovering from his cancer treatment. We purchased two low numbered conquer cancer license plates. It seemed symbolic because at that time Joe wanted to put cancer in his rearview mirror and leave it all behind. Then Joe realized that it is part of who he is today and decided to work with me on helping as many people as possible by starting the Joe Andruzzi Foundation.
The Zukers felt the same way. They lost a wonderful husband and father, Michael, to lung cancer just four months after diagnosis. Going through the process, they were determined to help other people and Starting the license plates and Garden of Hope projects gives them a purpose. Now the Zukers are proud to be working with others to make a difference.
After one meeting with us while both our organizations were in the development process, Jonathan Zuker commented, “They made us feel welcome, appreciated, loved and respected. It’s like we now have a close friend in the fight against cancer.”
Both of us support each other’s organizations and events. There is a synergy in our missions of supporting family and the cancer community one step at a time. Together, we all can make a difference by bringing hope to families managing all stages of cancer. No one should face this alone.