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Transforming Ordinary Chemo Rooms Into ROOMS THAT ROCK 4 CANCER!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – “Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo Soft Opening”

  • Contact: Donna DeHart, Executive Director Susan G. Komen for the Cure, West Virginia
  • Phone: 304.556.4808
  • Where: Camden Clark Medical Center Medical Building 2

Susan G. Komen spent long hours in the pediatric cancer wards in Houston reading to the children, talking to them about their treatment, listening to them when they needed to be heard, comforting them when they were afraid. The more time she spent in waiting rooms, sitting on the floor when there weren’t enough chairs available, the more assembly line atmosphere rankled her; she found the dowdiness of the waiting rooms and chemo wards so depressing. “Somebody needs to make this place a little more up beat. It’s unbearably boring and sad, and that’s the last thing we need right now.” Suzy frowned at the framed dollar store art. “There should be classical music and something beautiful and stimulating on the walls. Something to remind us how wonderful the world is outside all of all of this…. It’s bad enough that we have to come here. Maybe if it were a little more inviting, it would make people feel positive and hopeful. When I get better, I’m going to make some changes around here. We’ll do it together.”

Susan G. Komen was never able to fulfill her desire to transform the waiting rooms and chemo wards. However, Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo has teamed up with Susan G. Komen West Virginia, the Camden Clark Foundation, Whimsical Spirits of Whim-en and what seems like the entire community of Parkersburg to transform the chemo waiting rooms and chemo ward at Camden Clark Hospital, one of nine recipients of grant funds this year from the West Virginia Susan G. Komen Affiliate.

An idea developed by two artists has brightened the chemotherapy rooms and entire ward at Camden Clark Medical Center. Artists Amy Ocasio of Parkersburg and Nancy Ballard of San Francisco, who reconnected on Facebook several months ago, starting talking about Ballard’s project titled “Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo.”

The goal is to transform drab chemotherapy rooms into warm, vibrant and peaceful environments through paint and designs, according to Ballard, founder/executive director of the nonprofit RTR4C. Ballard, with the help of designers and volunteers, has brightened two medical facilities in the San Francisco area and one in San Salvador in Central America that see 40,000 chemotherapy visits a year. Nancy Ballard is the recipient of the Jefferson Award, a prestigious national recognition system honoring community and public volunteerism in America. Ocasio believed the project was perfect for Parkersburg. She contacted Kim Couch, Executive Director of the Camden Clark Foundation and a board member of the West Virginia Susan G. Komen Affiliate, who loved the Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo concept and got the approval of the leadership team at Camden Clark Medical Center to use it here. Camden Clark Medical Center is proud to be the first East Coast hospital participating in RoomsThatRock4Chemo.

At Camden Clark Hospital:

  • Nearly 1,000 cancers are diagnosed annually at Camden Clark Medical Center
  • More than 5,000 chemotherapy treatments are administered each year
  • Thousands of patients, their families and caregivers will be touched by this project

Patients and their caregivers may spend long hours receiving treatment in the chemotherapy rooms. The Camden Clark RTR4C project will provide cancer patients and their families’ treatment rooms that provide a sense of calm, tranquility, and ultimately aid in the healing process. It’s important to the mental and potentially physical well-being of cancer patients to promote healing and a sense of hopefulness and optimism. Local hospital officials were so impressed they also approved spending $170,000 to remodel the nine chemotherapy rooms and conference room in the chemo unit on the second floor of Medical Office Building B. New furniture, cabinetry and carpet are part of the remodeling effort in the 5,000-square-foot area. A $115,000 donation from the Camden Clark Medical Center Auxiliary will be used for the renovation.

Remodeling began September 14 during the nighttime hours, when the chemo unit was closed, and will be completed October 20. The unit sees about 120 patients a week. Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo designers, volunteers and artists have been working their magic in painting the rooms and hanging local artwork. Susan G. Komen West Virginia was one of 9 teams that each had a chemo room to transform. Their theme was the “Ford Warriors in Pink” and the lovely commemorative race survivor scarves were turned into beautiful framed artwork and now hang on the walls to represent the powerful and courageous who fight against cancer.

In addition, on October 2 Stephanie Webb presented The Warriors in Pink Quilt to the Camden Clark Medical Center, with Dave McClure, VP of Operations Camden Clark, Dennis Sprouse, Neighborhood Ford Store local representative and Rebecca Newhouse WV Susan G Komen. Dennis Sprouse represented the 82 Ford dealers in Southwest Pennsylvania, Southeast Ohio and Panhandles of West Virginia known collectively as the Neighborhood Ford Store. Stephanie Webb represented the five years of regional Ford dealers with the “Patchwork Station” at Pittsburgh’s Race for the Cure. Race participants decorated individual swatches of cloth with imaging and messages recognizing the fight against breast cancer. Volunteer quilters tirelessly pieced together the squares with love and care. The quilt added another art item to the facility expanding the reach of Rooms that Rock for Chemo with WV Susan G Komen and the Ford Warrior partnership.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the West Virginia Susan G. Komen Affiliate

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. The West Virginia Susan G. Komen Affiliate is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancers in the local community, joining more than 1 million breast cancer survivors and activists around the globe as part of the world’s largest and most progressive grassroots network fighting breast cancer. Through events like the Komen WV Race for the Cure, and community partnerships, the WV Affiliate has invested over 2 million dollars in community breast cancer health programs in West Virginia. Up to 75 percent of net proceeds generated by the Affiliate stay in West Virginia. The remaining income goes to the national Susan G. Komen for the Cure Grants Program to fund research. For more information, visit www.komenwv.org or call 304-556-4808.

Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo is a 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) nonprofit organization devoted to creating positive, healing and uplifting spaces that spiritually, emotionally and physically support those dealing with chemotherapy. In collaboration with interior designers, local vendors, and facilities that provide treatment, RTR4C transforms unimaginative, often sterile spaces into warm, vibrant and peaceful environments. This work of love, compassion and creativity brings the comfort of beauty, peace and caring to those suffering, thus making a real difference in their lives, their families, and all those involved in their care. For more information on Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo contact Nancy Ballard at nancy@roomsthatrock4chemo.org or call 415-518-1716.

Whimsical Spirits of Whim-en is the “brain-child” of Amy Ocasio. Her artwork is colorful, energetic, fun and whimsical…like her beloved family and friends. Amy likes to refer to her venture as “Painting for a Cause” and she proudly donates partial proceeds from all sales of her artwork to three charities; the West Virginia Susan G. Komen Foundation, Camden Clark Foundation in honor of her beautiful mother, Mary Ellen Manzo, a Survivor, and The Lewy-Body Dementia Association in Memoriam of her friend Susan’s mother Lucy W. Hill. In 2011, Amy presented to the WV Susan G. Komen Affiliate a “Whimsy” mural. “This mural represents the diversity of ‘1 in 8’ women that will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. There is hope through ‘early detection’ and research toward a cure. The desire of WV Susan G. Komen is that the mural would travel to clinics and treatment waiting rooms throughout West Virginia to remind women of their whimsy. She is joyous and free, she walks with a sparkle in her eye and grace in her steps. She is thee. ‘1 in 8’ women will finds it’s new home in the newly renovated Camden Clark Cancer Center. For more information contact 304-483-3265 or visit www.whimsicalspirits.net

Ford Motor Company has been active in the fight against breast cancer since 1993. In 206 Ford intensified its efforts by introducing Warriors in Pink and the Ford Warriors in Pink line of wear and gear. 100% of the net proceeds from all wear and gear sales is dedicated to the cause with donations going to charities that offer a wide-range of support. Ford Warriors in Pink also uses an unusually broad outreach from sponsorship of Komen Race for the Cure to inclusion in popular TV shows and magazines to endorsements by celebrities. The goal is to keep the topic of breast cancer part of everyday conversation and encourage women and men to engage in self-exams. Greater awareness can lead to earlier diagnosis, which in turn, could save lives. Ford is dedicated to the cause and has dedicated more than $115 million to the cause. To find out more about Ford Warriors in Pink www.warriorsinpink.ford.com

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