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campaign For beauty healing and hope
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You can give a gift of beauty, healing and hope! Download a pledge card to mail in or click here to make an on-line gift. Or, read on to learn more about Healing Gardens, the Campaign for Beauty, Healing and Hope and how nature can help cancer patients recover.





What is the Healing Garden at Benesse Oncology Center?

A healing garden is not just an ordinary garden. It provides a beautiful place where patients and their families can find beauty, comfort and solitude.

The Garden at Benesse will be a lovely, intimate space that offers a walk of engraved pavers, serene fountains, comfortable benches, sculptures and lush landscaping. It's also an important part of Benesse's mission, which is to:

  • Strive to cure patients and to improve the quality of their lives by providing optimal cancer treatment via experience, empathetic care and state-of-the-art technology.

  • Provide an inviting and calm environment designed to offer a new level of comfort for both patients and families, enabling them to battle disease and find triumph in newfound hope for a cure.





Beauty and Healing

"Despite the medical procedures I had to endure, I actually enjoyed my frequent trips (to Benesse) because of the beauty of the surroundings and lift it gave to my spirits." Sue Menefee, Patient.




"The caring, professional staff, the state-of-the-art technology and the peaceful surroundings helped me to remain calm and optimistic throughout the course of my daily treatments. Benesse is a wonderful place." Ron Burwell, Patient.


Throughout history gardens have been used to aid in the healing process-from the Japanese zen garden to the monastic cloister garden. However, with the advances in medical technology in the 20th century, the use of gardens as healing elements began to diminish. With the recent interest in complementary and alternative therapies, which emphasize healing the whole person-mind, body and spirit-the interest in the garden as healer has been revived. This movement is prevalent at oncology centers across the country, and healing gardens are becoming an integral part of these centers.

National studies reveal findings that nature does indeed support healing. A study done at Texas A&M University found that patients with access to nature scenes had a more positive outlook, fewer negative emotions and were able to block or reduce stressful thoughts. Additional research in the same study revealed that test subjects who had access to views of nature had shorter post-operative stays, fewer negative comments from nurses, took less pain medication and had fewer post-operative complications than those patients with a view of a brick wall.(1)

The private treatment areas at Benesse face wide, floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the Healing Garden so that patients can enjoy the beauty and healing powers of nature. The garden is planned using many plants that display color and texture year-round and that will attract butterflies, birds and other small wildlife. Combined with the state-of-the art technology and high-quality care offered at Benesse, the Healing Garden will do just that-help patients heal.

For more information about healing gardens and improved healthcare outcomes, click here.


1. Severtsen, Betsy, March 30, 2006
Healing Garden - Betsy Severtsen





Campaign Progress
The campaign is progressing nicely toward the $600,000 goal. Donors have been responsive to the campaign, and it is proving to be a popular project. As an incentive to donors, Major Hospital has agreed to match gifts of $10,000 or more up to a total of $100,000. To learn more about the match or to hear the campaign total pledged to date, please contact us. The campaign total changes almost daily!

The first phase of the campaign was to collect gifts and pledges of $250 or more to sponsor certain garden features, including fountains, gathering areas, benches, and more. Nearly all of these garden features have been sponsored, but a few do remain and the Garden’s plan is flexible enough to include a couple of extras here and there.

The campaign is now in its second phase, which is to sell engraved pavers with the purchase price of the pavers going toward the construction of the garden. Two sizes are available, 4”X8” or 8”X8”.

The smaller size is available for $250 and the larger for $500. The smaller size will hold up to three lines of text (third line is $10 extra) of fourteen characters per line. The larger size will hold up to five lines of text (fifth line is $10 extra), also with fourteen characters per line.
Engraved pavers are a wonderful way to memorialize or pay tribute to someone, to commemorate an event like a birth or anniversary or just to say “thanks” to someone.





Your Healing Gift
The name "Benesse" has been carefully chosen from the Latin phrase "bene esse," which means "comfort and well-being." It reflects the time honored attitudes of respect and caring and also summarizes the guiding principle under which Benesse was conceived.

True to its name, the Benesse Oncology Center has been completely designed for patient comfort and well-being. An essential healing element of Benesse will be its Healing Garden. Your gift to help plant the Healing Garden will give hope for healing to thousands of cancer patients for generations to come. You may choose to make a gift in celebration of a person or event, in memory of a loved one, to express thanks for care received at Benesse or in some other way that is special to you.

Whatever you decide, your gift to the Healing Garden will be a gift to all cancer patients who receive treatment at Benesse. The beauty they will find in the Garden will bring them joy, comfort and hope for healing-vital and important gifts that you can give. What an impact you can make!

Click here to download a pledge card to purchase an engraved paver or click here to make a gift on-line. If you have other questions about the Healing Garden or making a gift, please contact us.

"After hearing about the Healing Garden, I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to help make it a reality. It will be such an uplifting place for patients and their families, as well as a wonderful addition to the Benesse Center and community as a whole."
- Dr. Carrie Pumphrey, Donor.



"A beautiful, living place like the Healing Garden lifts the spirit and can benefit the healing process. We wanted to play a part in its creation." - John and Debbie Coffin, Donors.










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Our Address

  • Angela Gill
    Executive Director

    Major Hospital Foundation
    150 West Washington St.
    Shelbyville, IN 46176
    (317) 421-0361
    agill@majorhospital.org