Exceptional patient care comes in many forms, and in this particular instance, many colours too. In order to brighten the lives of patients undergoing cancer treatment, members of the London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP) at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) came together to create a meaningful reminder that, even when we are overcome by fear, we can uncover inspiration.
With the support of a generous donor and the talent of a local artist, Aulora Plommer, LRCP’s Chemotherapy Unit nursing team was able to realize their transformative vision for the clinic.
It started with a coffee break conversation. Nurses, Liliana Di Cicco and Dawn MacKinnon, talked about how they could enhance the sense of welcome for patients entering the chemo treatment room. The room, which had a pillar with the likeness of a tree, had their imaginations running wild alongside their unyielding dedication to deliver holistic, heartfelt patient care.
Building on the existing outdoor concept, a dedicated group of LRCP staff, patient advisors and an artist came together to adorn the walls with a field of bright yellow sunflowers, a farm, beach and city skyline. The once sterile walls were transformed into beautiful murals to enliven the cancer clinic. Patient advisors contributed significantly to the process, ensuring this end result would uplift, encourage and resonate with patients.
Beyond the aesthetic elevation of the space, the murals act as a source of hope and lively conversation. “You can hear patients chatting about the special memories that the images bring to mind,” shares Dawn. “This is a far and happy cry away from the conversations you may expect to hear in, what can otherwise be, a very solemn place.”
Compassion, courage and determination are rays of sunshine during patients’ darkest days
It’s difficult to imagine what a diagnosis of this magnitude would feel like, but the staff at LRCP have come to know that the beginning of treatment is the scariest time for their patients. Now, when they take that first step across the threshold to treatment, instead of walking into a sterile environment, they are greeted with the brightness of each mural, which provides a ray of hope. “Each day, we are trying to reduce the stress of our patients and make them more comfortable,” said Liliana. “These murals help us do that and allows conversation to flourish within those walls.”
We want to thank and celebrate all the caring hearts and creative minds who prioritized the production of these murals. Without donor funding of this project, each sunflower, building and tree would not be possible. These murals will create a happier treatment environment for countless patients during the years to come; and for that, we are grateful. A heartfelt thank you goes to Liliana and Dawn for bringing this project to light and caring so deeply to want to make a difference. Liliana and Dawn’s willingness to go above and beyond for their patients is perfectly articulated by Jackie Brindle, Clinical Manager, LRCP Systemic Treatments. “The chemo nurses are a beautiful balance of compassion and skill. I’m so proud of Liliana and Dawn for bringing this idea to the table.”