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Nancy Ballard’s rooms that rock for chemo

Original article available at Love Letters Live by Janet Gallin

Nancy with her newborn grandson, the start of a new life for more than her own familyNancy with her newborn grandson, the start of a new life for more than her own family

Nancy with her newborn grandson, the start of a new life for more than her own familyNancy with her newborn grandson, the start of a new life for more than her own family

Botanical illustrator Nancy Ballard is a serious painter, a writer with one published book under her belt, and enough other things as wife, mother and grandmother to keep her full-time busy. You would think, as did her husband, that she is too busy for another full-time project. But, no. Not at all. She is, in addition to everything else, a miracle worker with brilliant organizational skills and a limitless vision.

Three years ago, as a precautionary measure, she went to the doctor for a medically small visit and left with her life drastically changed. Her life and the lives of countless cancer patients. When, quite by chance, she saw the chemotherapy rooms for the first time, she knew there was a better way to deliver treatment than a drab, sad room with crumbling plaster and nail holes where pictures had once hung. Although happy to donate a piece of her art, Nancy knew that people needed better surroundings to benefit fully from treatment, and that a piece of art alone would make no difference. These rooms needed to be renovated physically and in spirit, so Nancy set about to do just that.

With an astounding energy, compassion and artistic sensibility, she is changing hospitals across the United States and far beyond its borders.So far 800,000 patients a year and still growing.

To listen to her talk about the creation of Rooms That Rock for Chemo and how she got an indomitable team together is to see what one person can do to change the world. Nancy’s zest is dizzying, her stamina enviable, her enthusiasm contagious and her results life-changing for both patients and medical practitioners. Her love letter? Guaranteed to bring joy and tears.

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