Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Cancer Survivor Parks

My Statement in the Legislature on May 9, 2011:

I'd like to dedicate my remarks today to someone I miss each day. Her name is Kathy Hatlen. Cancer Survivors Parks - because "what's outside can help heal what's inside." There are currently 22 cancer survivor parks in North America, a legacy created by Richard and Annette Bloch and their foundation.

The Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park in Ottawa is a public park offering green space for reflection, sculptures, a healing garden with stones of hope, motivation and so much more. This cancer survivors park is the second of its kind in Canada and will offer a place of serenity and inspiration to cancer patients and survivors, their friends and family. I am working for the creation of a third such park in Richmond, British Columbia.

Each park is unique, though they maintain three common elements. In each park there's a sculpture called "Cancer, there is hope," created by the renowned Mexican sculptor Victor Somanes. The piece features eight life-sized figures passing through a maze depicting cancer treatments and successes.

"A positive mental attitude walk." This is an area that visitors can stroll through, meditate and read through 14 plaques which feature inspirational words and suggestions inspired by Richard Bloch.

And a "Road to Recovery," with seven plaques explaining what cancer is and basic actions to assist in recovery — a place of peace and reflection. I hope each of you will have the opportunity one day to visit.

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