YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Give Local York, the county's biggest fundraising event is only three days away. The money raised during the 24-hour give event will go towards helping over 300 non-profits in the county.
One of the organizations is hoping to raise money to create a peaceful place outside of hospital walls for their patients and the community.
“Knowing that she sees a lot of cancer patients and wanting to provide a serene space where people who are fighting that fight can go and they can relax and have peace of mind... they can have a calm space to go and look at natures beauty," Chad Myers, the Director of Development with the UPMC Pinnacle Foundation said.
A Breast Cancer Garden of Hope is being created by the UPMC Pinnacle Foundation to offer a space for breast cancer patients to take a break from treatments. The inspiration for the garden came from a general surgeon at UPMC, who works closely with patients.
“They sent me to Dr. Mudge, she did a biopsy, and five days later she gave me a call and let me know that I have breast cancer," Katie Masters said. "Obviously that was a big shock, I am 32 so I was never really expecting a cancer diagnosis. I’m sure at any age it’s a shock."
Masters is a nurse practitioner at UPMC Memorial in York County. She said she was worried about working through a pandemic after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“My oncologist didn’t want me around COVID patients, but my work team kind of figured out a way to keep me away from patients while still being able to help out at work," Masters said. "So I did go back to work whenever I could during chemo."
She recently learned that one in eight women get breast cancer in their lifetime. It could be a close friend, a loved one, or even yourself. Masters believes the garden will serve as a testament to the community and support patients, friends, and visitors at UPMC.
“For me, when I was first diagnosed one of the things that really helped me mentally was to just get out and go for walks and just be in nature - it’s a very therapeutic therapy to breast cancer patients, or any cancer patient," Masters said.
Whether you're going through treatment, visiting a loved one, or just need to step outside to a beautiful space -- The Breast Cancer Garden of Hope will be in bloom for you.
Myers said the garden will be for everyone.
"It isn’t just for people going through treatment and who are survivors, it’s also to champion those people who lost the fight to breast cancer or cancer of any kind," Myers said. "This space is for you to come out here and reflect and lose yourself out."
He said they hope to have the garden done by summer with the help of the Garden Club of York. On Give Local York Day, May 7, UPMC Pinnacle staff will be set up outside of York Memorial. They'll be collecting donations, and doing fun giveaways with prizes for donors.
You can find more information about Give Local York online.
If you'd like to donate to the UPMC Pinnacle Foundation you can do so here, on May 7.
UPMC also offers something special of women, The Mammogram Voucher Program (MVP). It provides free mammograms for uninsured or underinsured women in the community. The MVP is endowed through the Gene J. Triano, MD Memorial Endowment Fund.
“UPMC is life-changing medicine and offers it to all who seek our care — including those who cannot afford it," Philip Guarneschelli, President of UPMC Pinnacle said. "For 25 years, the UPMC Pinnacle Mammogram Voucher Program has helped the uninsured in our area receive a mammogram at no cost. Because of the generous donations made through programs like Tea for Mammograms, people who are unable to afford a mammogram are given a fighting chance at detecting breast cancer early."
They have a Tea for Mammograms event slated for September 2021, you can learn more about it here.