Cancer Survivors Parks

With the goal of extending the Cancer Survivors Day Rally from a once-a-year event to a daily happening, the Cancer Survivors Park was conceived. To all who pass it and see the sign, it is meant to give a subconscious message that death and cancer are not synonymous so that when they are subsequently diagnosed, they will try to fight it rather than giving up. To newly diagnosed patients, it is meant to give hope and courage. To those in the process of fighting the disease, it is meant to give directions and determination. To those who have not had cancer, it is meant to reduce fear.

Rancho Mirage, California park
Rancho Mirage, California park

There are three factors present in each Park. First is a positive mental attitude walk with 14 bronze plaques, four inspirational and 10 instructional. Second is a sculpture of eight life-size bronze figures passing through a maze representing cancer treatment. The five before the maze show fear, hope and determination in their faces while the three after are laughing and happy, representing successful treatment. Third is a “Road to Recovery” consisting of seven plaques explaining what cancer is and basic actions to successfully overcome the disease.

The Foundation provided money for the construction of the Park including funding perpetual maintenance. There are 25 parks located in the U.S. and Canada. Each Park is individually designed to complement the surrounding area.

Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Parks have been completed in Bakersfield, CA; Baltimore, MD; Boise, ID; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Columbia, SC; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, MO; Memphis, TN; Minneapolis, MN; Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; New Orleans, LA; Omaha, NE; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Phoenix, AZ; Rancho Mirage, CA; Sacramento, CA; San Diego, CA, Santa Rosa, CA; Tucson, AZ, and Tampa, FL.

14 Replies to “Cancer Survivors Parks”

  1. I know this may not be as substantial as some other stories shared here, but I live in minneapolis with my dog – who I credit with keeping me alive like no human could through the deepest of depression and severe health problems in my 20s – and I have always loved walking around and throwing a ball at cancer survivor’s park.

    Then last year, he got cancer at only 6 years old. He has survived two surgeries and is now a year out from his last operation with no signs of new issues. Since then, Cancer Survivors’ Park has taken on an even more meaningful role in our lives.

    I have cried in this park, I have met new friends in this park, I have spent countless hours with my best friend Max.

    In fact, I am writing this note from the park right now on a quiet warm evening in minneapolis. We love this park so much. We go every day.

    1. Gregory, Your beloved dog is as important as anyone else. Anyone who has shared the love of a pet will understand how you feel. I love that the Cancer Survivor Park has offered you succor during this time. My heart and hugs go out to you and your Max, along with continued best wishes, Thank you for reaching out to us.

      Vangie Rich

  2. Hi. I was hoping you could tell me what happened to the statues in the Survivor’s Park in Bakersfield, CA. We have visited it a number of times and today there are only two of the statues left. I was so sad. Can you tell me what happened to the remaining statues? Thank you.

    1. Diane, I knew they were dealing with vandalism involving the statues, but was not aware that they were down to only two. I will contact the medical center to get more information. Thank you for being our eyes on the park. I will email you their response.

  3. Dear R. & A. Foundation, I pass by one R&A Foundation Cancer Park in Sacramento, CA. I noticed the the tombstone or name marker is skewed to one side and I wonder if that was a weathering effect over time. I think the sign needs some fixing like re-leveled so it will look right and appealing. Thank you and more power! I am a registered nurse in UC Davis Medical Center and my wife is being treated for breast cancer currently. I find courage and inspiration in your park.

  4. I just learned about your Parks and I must say it is really a shame that you had to stop the program.
    However, with that being said here is a suggestion that I think can help many cancer patients.
    I am a cancer survivor; 4th stage rectal. I under went chemo treatment in the Mineola, NY NYUWinthrop University Hospital facility.
    When my treatment was finished and having responded well had my first coloncopy and was found to be clean I went to the facility walked into the door raised my arms high in the air and shouted out “I AM A CANCER SURVIVOR “.

    I then proceeded to talk with each individual and I do think I made many more optimistic about there future. It has been 9 years since I started the practice. I must start it up again & perhaps others will as well.
    Robert E. Feffer
    Rfeffervet@icloud.com
    Cell – 516-526-2213

    1. Robert, it is always good to share your survivor story. It encourages people to aspire to survivorship. Men, especially, need to hear from other men about taking steps to fight their cancer. There is an organization called Friend 4 Life in Kentucky, that provides mentors (survivors to newly diagnosed), where you should volunteer. Your type and stage of cancer are vital to someone who is looking at this diagnosis and feeling discouraged. They call you when they need your stage and type of cancer. I strongly recommend that you become one of their survivor volunteers. https://www.friend4life.org. Keep up the good work!

      1. Dearest Vangie,
        What a Wonderful Surprise to see that my friend Robert wrote a post to you after I shared the CS Parks info w/him !
        It was a JOY to finally meet you @ the 2017 CS DAY last June … a Dream Come True for a 40 year bone cancer survivor … it was an Experience I will never forget !!
        It is a JOY also to see today (when I discovered these postings) that U R still out there ENCOURAGING & SHARING ~~~
        YOU, Vangie dear, are an ADVOCATE EXTRAORDINAIRE ~ I am INspired by YOU !!!
        Keep up the GREAT WORK !
        with Loving Gratitude from a Volunteer who is Blessed to know U,
        Caroline Mulcahy :)))

      2. Thank you Caroline! I do love helping cancer patients and their caregivers. Thank you also for coming all the way to Kansas City for the Rally, it was wonderful to finally meet face to face. Come again, I have more time now that I am not the organizer of the cancer survivor day rally. Gilda’s Club of Kansas City has taken on that very important celebration of life. I would love to show you around properly. Thank you for all your support as one of the Bloch Cancer Hotline volunteers. We could never have done it without survivors like you.

  5. Greetings from Greenville SC!
    What a beautiful story and a magnificent park(s)!
    CHEF360 Catering has been entrusted with a Grand Opening of our long over due Cancer Survivors Park here in Greenville. Although there are many food ideas both from our involvement with the Fundraising efforts for 4 years, but oh so many from our community. Is there someone on staff at any of these wonderful parks that has had a hand in planning one of the Openings and can advise on food-beverage ideas to compliment such an endearing space? I welcome the opportunity to speak with anyone for input!
    Cheers,
    Chef Peter Collins
    CHEF360 Catering
    Cell 864.553.9980

  6. I live in Rancho Mirage, CA, and am impressed with the beauty and solace of the cancer survivor’s park located here. Can you please tell me the name of the architect who designed the
    is edifice?

  7. I am hoping I have reached the correct people to discuss the Bloch Cancer Survivors Parks. I wish to inquiry on my interest in working towards establishing such a space in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada.

    After being diagnosed with cancer twice, I have always remembered my visits to the Cancer Survivors Park in Mississauga, Ontario Canada. My memories of how this park gave me such peace and calmness during such an uncertain period in my life have never left me. Since moving to Nova Scotia, this park has been on my mind more and more with each passing day. I can never forget the impact that “Cancer, there is hope” element of the park and how it touched me to my very core with hope that this battle was winnable. There are so many people in my life, both family and friends that have battled this disease (my husband currently had kidney cancer surgery in April of this year). Some have won their journey and others have not! But NONE have had the opportunity to experience time spent at a Cancer Survivors Park in their own province. These Parks truly elevates the patient experience during what can be a very difficult time for patients and families.

    I know the R.A. Bloch Foundation has made both the Ottawa and Mississauga parks possible with generous funding to establish the parks and I hope your foundation will consider establishing such a space in Nova Scotia. I am not sure if this needs to be initiated through government channels but I am willing to contact all three levels of governments; I have a professional landscaping company whose owner has lost his father through cancer that has expressed sincere interest in contributing to this space.

    I am hoping you can help me on how to start the process (or if you can give me the correct contact information necessary). This is something I am very passionate about and know with the help of others a Cancer Survivors Park in Halifax can become a reality.

    Thank You for your time. I look forward to hearing from someone from the Foundation who can help with making this dream a reality.

    1. I am sorry to say that we are no longer developing cancer survivor parks. The parks program ended five years ago. Thank you for your kind words.

      Vangie Rich, Executive Director

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