Survivors will help create cancer centers healing environment

May 08, 2017

In the new Regional Cancer Care Center at Baptist Health Paducah, cancer patients and their families will have a hand in the beauty that comforts and inspires them.

In the new Ray & Kay Eckstein Regional Cancer Care Center at Baptist Health Paducah, cancer patients and their families will have a hand in the beauty that comforts and inspires them. Literally.

Artist Kijsa Housman is collaborating with survivors on nine artworks to adorn the center’s walls. She guides cancer patients as they bring their stories, journal pages and other examples of their triumphs and struggles into their artistic expression on each multi-media piece.

The nine paintings will be visual stories of healing, as told through the seasonal changes of trees. “A tree represents the very walk of battling cancer,” Housman said, “as autumn leaves fall, the tree regenerates in winter and new life of healing comes with the spring.”

Housman has chosen leaves from nine trees to represent a cancer patient’s qualities – strength, energy, support, relief, journey, fight, faith, hope and joy.

For example, the aspen tree is chosen to illustrate support. “The world’s largest living organism is a grove of aspen trees in Utah,” Housman said. “Entirely connected to each other through the underground root system, they support and sustain each other over 100 acres. That represents how we support each other.”

Baptist Health is celebrating 50 years of cancer care with the opening of the region’s first cancer care center this summer on the northeast corner of the Baptist Health campus near 26th and Broadway.

Hospital president William A. Brown said the artwork project is an example of the center’s overall design to meet the needs of patients, their families and physicians. The $19.1 million two-story, 44,000-square-foot center will bring together physician offices, lab, chemotherapy and radiation therapy in one comfortable and convenient location.

“We are creating a serene, peaceful environment as part of our comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to promote healing,” Brown said. “Our goal is to make life easier for people fighting this disease.”

Housman said each painting will be “a living tribute to those that work, live, love and have survived cancer.”

Baptist Health Foundation Paducah seeks sponsors for each of the artworks. For information on how to support the project, phone 270.575.2871.

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