The Art of Life Cancer Foundation is making a profound impact upon the Central Valley by giving hope to those impacted by cancer. Recognizing that the lifetime probability of developing cancer is 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women, the effects of cancer can be seen and felt within the workplace, school, family tree, and even within one’s own home. The reality is that cancer affects us all. Although we have incredible cancer care in the Valley, the Art of Life is dedicated to filling the void of offering individual and personal support that allows people to process their emotions, find camaraderie, and know that they are not alone.
Cancer demands more than just physical treatment, as the emotional and social impacts upon one’s life are significant. Even though the physical scars or side effects may not always be visible to the public eye, it is the scars on one’s heart, mind and soul that too often can go unaddressed. While each person’s journey is unique, the use of creative expression evokes a sense of respite, discovery, inspiration, and purpose, so that while circumstances may or may not change, one’s attitude and outlook on life can. The Art of Life’s use of creative expression ranges from painting to mosaic and glass art, music, gardening, fitness, dance, and more.
One of the Art of Life’s most distinct programs is through the development of the Art of Life Healing Garden inside Woodward Park. With permission from the City of Fresno, the Art of Life began a “movement of hope” and broke ground in 2015 uniting local businesses, service groups, schools, families, and individuals of all ages to take part in creating a place for all to heal, find hope, and renewal. The 3-acre Healing Garden is connected by a cancer ribbon trail and offers hope to all those going through a difficult season, not just cancer. Cared for 100% by volunteers in the community, the Garden features works of art by local cancer survivors, a lavender labyrinth, areas of reflection, outdoor musical instruments, children’s playscapes and more. Inspired by cancer survivors, the Art of Life Healing Garden has provided a sanctuary for the community as a reminder to learn to “be still, celebrate life, love openly, always remember, and fight on.”