(WIS) - The children's center for cancer and blood disorders at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital will soon receive a generous gift to help children find a warm, welcoming space while in the hospital.
Hannah and Ron Rogers, a Columbia couple who lost their son Kevin to gastric cancer a few years ago, recognized a need for a peaceful space during treatments. They decided to capture that through gardening.
Hannah gardens at her house. She spends about 40 hours a week gardening and uses it as a place for healing.
The Rogers wanted to help children and their families enjoy a special space outside hospital walls during one of the most difficult times of their lives and had donated to Palmetto Health Children's Hospital in the past. The infusion center is named in honor of Kevin.
With a big heart and a lot to give, Hannah and Ron donated 250,000 dollars towards fundraising a campaign for "Hannah's garden."
"The infusion center is a room where the kids go several times a week to get chemo therapy. But there's really no place to go out and get away," Ron Rogers said. "So outside the infusion center there is a roof with a door and the garden is going to be directly outside the infusion center so the kids can take those infusion poles outside into a space where there is going to be sunshine, shade in the afternoon, and plants they can sit with their families."
More than 700 children are treated each year at the Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital.
According to Palmetto Health, each year there is an average of 1,500 visits by children with cancer and various types of life-threatening blood disorders.
Dr. Stuart Cramer, with Palmetto Health Children's Hospital said "I think that all of them (the children) are happy when they're not here, so having this space will at least give them some thought process that they're not stuck in a hospital getting chemo therapy."
He adds that this will provide a sense of normality for them.
"Kids needed a place outside of the hospital where they can just have some normalcy and also just a place where they could relax and kind of be back to a normal life," Cramer said.
The Rogers say this will be a perfect way to keep Kevin's memory alive.
"He loved kids and he would have been thrilled to have the infusion center named after him and the garden. Whenever he came to visit he loved being out here with Hannah." Ron Rogers said.
Hannah and Ron Rogers have made a lead challenge gift of $250,000. Palmetto Health Foundation is working to match their gift with community support. The total garden project cost is $615,000. Phase one of Hannah's Garden will begin in the summer of 2018. The anticipated completion time frame is late 2018/early 2019.
Donors of $2,500 or more will be recognized in a special area of Hannah's Garden.
To learn more about how you can support Hannah's Garden, visit the Palmetto Health Foundation website.