Cancer Center Offers Hands in Hope


Contact:   Eileen Druckenmiller
(802) 447-5558
BENNINGTON — Cancer patients at the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center (SVRCC) and their friends and family now have an opportunity to join their “Hands in Hope.” Hands in Hope is an art project funded by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation that is being executed by Beth Newman, an area artist and art therapist.
            “Doing a project like Hands in Hope,” said Leslie MacMurtry, nurse manager at the Cancer Center, “is a great way for our patients to connect with each other and with parts of themselves. I’ve seen positive results many times when our patients involve themselves in something creative. It really can assist with the healing process.”
            This is the fourth year and third year in a row that The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has funded a creative project and art-related services at SVRCC. “It’s not about creating museum-quality art,” said Newman. “Anyone at any age or any artistic ability can participate.”
            Hands in Hope invites participants to create and decorate a tracing of their hands using provided art materials and fabric. They can then write down personal thoughts, hopes, and wishes for themselves or others living with cancer to add to their hand design. The option exists to place the written thoughts in a private pocket behind the hand or to integrate them into the image.  
            “We know that the symptoms, treatment, and experiences of being diagnosed with cancer create anxiety for cancer patients and their loved ones,” said Newman. The project offers an opportunity to focus on something else while sitting in the waiting or exam rooms.”
             Newman will then mount the designs on fabric pieces to be hung in groupings on the walls of the Cancer Center for visitors and staff to view. 
            “It creates a sense of community, which has a real healing quality to it,” she stated. “I think it’s important for cancer patients to know they are not alone, but that they have support available to them from many different sources, including the Cancer Center.”          
            The Hands in Hope pieces will later be exhibited at the Cancer Center. To find out more about Hands in Hope or the use of art for healing at the Cancer Center, call Leslie at (802) 447-1836 or Beth at (802) 688-4557.
            The Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center is a part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC). SVHC is a community-based, not-for-profit health system that exists solely for the benefit of the communities it serves. It is SVHC’s mission to make the communities it serves the healthiest in the nation.
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