Every detail is important when you’re battling cancer; from diagnosis to treatment, the simple things in between become much more meaningful. That’s something Alee Becker learned at the age of 13, when she lost her “Gamee,” Sharon Brown.
Since then, Becker, now 17, has hosted three successful 5Ks in her grandmother’s honor, raising more than $23,000 for the Mercy Health Foundation. The funds have helped cancer patients with things like transportation to appointments, wigs and nutritional support. This year, Becker’s efforts funded “Gamee’s Garden," just outside the Curry Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital Lebanon.
“We’re delighted to have a more soothing and inviting environment for our cancer patients and their families,” said Karen Simpson-Neasby, vice president of Mercy Health Foundation. “It now includes two wheelchair accessible tables, umbrellas, benches and large planters with beautiful evergreens. To top it off, we’ll have relaxing music playing continuously in the courtyard.”
Gamee’s Garden, which officially opened the week before Thanksgiving, is now open to anyone needing a break from the daily grind. Mercy patients will also have the option to receive chemotherapy treatments there if weather allows.
“Alee’s grandmother absolutely loved to sit outside and drink her coffee on her back patio, surrounded by nature and birds,” said Lori Becker, Alee Becker’s mother. “We thought it was fitting to give chemo patients the option to step outside and have somewhere comfortable to sit. It’s just nice to get away sometimes.”
“My family and I saw where my Gamee took her chemo treatments," Alee said. "It was a nice place and the nurses took great care of everyone. But, we wanted there to be a place where patients could go to block out cancer for just a little while. Mercy nailed it! Thank you for making Gamee’s Garden a place my Gamee would have loved."
“Alee is an incredibly inspiring teenager that set out to make a difference in the lives of others,” Simpson-Neasby added. “Her Gamee must be smiling down with such love and admiration for the wonderful work that Alee has done here in the Lebanon community.”
Alee's story is just one of many at Mercy, which is celebrating Giving Tuesday on Dec. 1, 2015. If you'd like to help the Mercy Health Foundation - and thousands of organizations around the world - celebrate giving and generosity, click here.