Cancer Resource Centre’s “Inspirations From The Garden” Offers Opportunity to Relax and Learn in Unique Setting

Cancer Resource Centre’s “Inspirations From The Garden” Offers Opportunity to Relax and Learn in Unique Setting
By: Kaitlyn Steinhiser Last Updated: July 22, 2017

Rays of both sunshine and hope illuminated the June Hawk-Franklin Garden of Meditation and Healing at the Cancer Resource Centre’s Inspirations from the Garden event, where those seeking healing tips or some new container planters congregated for a great cause. Here, community members had the opportunity to learn from presentations with topics including “Therapeutic Benefits of Container Gardening,” “Healing Benefits of Hypnosis and Meditation,” and “To Bee… or not to Bee.” Between sessions, attendees bid on 49 different garden containers made by supporters of the Cancer Resource Centre. From the Chicago Cubs to fairy gardens, the boxes represented the diverse interests of the Region.

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Proceeds from the event benefit the Cancer Resource Centre, a program of the Community Cancer Research Foundation. The resource center offers free support, education and mind/body programs to help patients with cancer and their loved ones cope with a diagnosis. Part of the Community Healthcare System, the Foundation helps support cancer treatment and research programs at Community Hospital in Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart.

“I think this event is a great opportunity to show our community spirit by decorating boxes for a great cause. It shows where people in need are able to come for help,” said Cancer Resource Centre Outreach Coordinator Rachel Lewis. “The biggest thing is that people have said that they had so much fun while making the boxes. It allows them to showcase their creativity.”

Most of the boxes were so much more than arts-and-crafts projects to their creators; several boxes were inspired by cancer patients who recently passed away. Shawn Manner and Max Rivera’s box, which included a small, hollowed-out tree stump birdhouse with a face and a full mustache named “Labreh,” was created with the intention to honor Rivera’s late father.

“My father just passed away from cancer, and we thought it would be a good thing to give back, or at least give a little bit back because it’s not a lot. It was something that we definitely felt we had to do,” said Rivera.

Containers like Rivera’s provided ample inspiration for painter Shari LeMonnier, who painted a picture throughout the event using the feelings of hope and joy that resonated with her. She started painting at the Centre the year after her husband died of cancer. In fact, her painting “Turn Cancer Upside Down” is currently hanging inside of the Centre today.

“I’m being inspired by the garden here, which is such a beautiful area to be inspired by within this facility. I’m looking at some of the shapes and colors that will make it a unique composition. There’s so much sadness and anxiety surrounding illness, and I think that it’s good to find time to relax and see the beauty that’s in nature and those who are supportive of you in dark times,” said LeMonnier as she continued to paint.

Through a door right next to LeMonnier’s painting, guests learned health tips from several different experts. Hypnotherapist, Author, and Healer Randi Light gave a presentation on the health benefits of hypnosis, and she even allowed her audience to experience a muscle testing demonstration as well.

“I do a muscle testing demonstration to help people understand how their thoughts affect them. For the last ten years, I’ve hypnotized thousands of adults and children. Hypnosis reduces stress, and I created a proprietary system that helps people spot-find and move whatever is in their way, move on, and move forward,” said Light. “Events like this one bring hope, and I’m happy to help people feel a lot better, no matter what they’re going through.”

Those at the event could also enjoy bubble tea and other food options from the LuLu’s Licks food truck, which was parked outside of the Centre.

As attendees gathered through the combined goal of supporting the Cancer Resource Centre in Munster and learning more about potential health benefits, an overall sense of community and hope developed throughout Inspirations from the Garden.

Visit for more information about the Cancer Resource Centre.