Leslie’s Healing Garden to be part of cancer healing arts program

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An outdoor healing garden named Leslie’s Healing Garden will be an important part of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and its Healing Arts Program in Omaha.

Leslie’s Healing Garden will be created with support from Marshall and Mona Faith, longtime supporters of the Omaha community, with an undisclosed amount through the University of Nebraska Foundation.

The healing garden is named after one of their daughters who lost her battle with pediatric cancer at age 2 ½ about 60 years ago.

“She is behind all our thoughts,” said Marshall Faith. “It fits us as a way to put her name, in a small way, into the future.”

The healing garden will serve as a place where patients and their families can visit to escape the realities of cancer and spend time outside enjoying the flowers, pine trees and heated walkways.

“Flowers were Leslie’s favorite thing, along with singing songs. I think of all the moms that this space will benefit and what a blessing it will be,” said Mona Faith.

The Faiths share their story of Leslie and the vision for Leslie’s Healing Garden in the heartfelt video above.

Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., UNMC chancellor and chairman of the Nebraska Medicine Advisory Board, said that the Faiths’ gift will be an integral part of the Healing Arts Program, which is being developed using evidence-based research to aid in the healing of patients.

“Our patients will truly benefit from Leslie’s Healing Garden and the entire Healing Arts Program,” Gold said. “We could not be more grateful to the Faiths for their generous gift.”

From reduced pain perception, anxiety, stress, loneliness and depression to providing new insight and clarify feelings about a cancer diagnosis and treatment, the Healing Arts Program will include the most motivating and meaningful works of art to help heal the human spirit.

“Healing requires more than just treating the patient medically,” said Kenneth Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. “Studies have shown that creating an atmosphere of hope and resilience through artwork goes beyond curing a disease and leads to improved patient outcomes. Patients, visitors and staff will all benefit from this enhanced environment.”

“The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center is creating a place of continued innovation, holistic healing and an environment that serves patients beyond their expectations,” said Gail Yanney, M.D., Healing Arts Program committee member. “Leslie’s Healing Garden is the first of many exciting announcements about the Healing Arts Program. There is a vision to present a prestigious and diverse healing art collection, and the University of Nebraska Foundation is working to raise the needed funds to create a program like no other.”

For instance, the Healing Arts Program could feature more than 200 pieces of original works of art that would reflect a diversity of cultures and perspectives; create an oasis of calm that provides pleasant distractions from the anxiety of visits and treatments; and provide patients, staff and visitors opportunities for introspection that will motivate, rejuvenate and build endurance to fight against cancer on all fronts.

Three additional spaces at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, and in conjunction with the Nebraska 1% for Arts legislation, will also support the mission of the Healing Arts Program. The three spaces were identified based on the opportunity to touch approximately 5,000 people each day through art.

The artists whose work will fill the three spaces will be chosen within the next month.

To learn more about Leslie’s Healing Garden or the Healing Arts Program at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center visit BuffettCancerCenter.com.

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