Monday, June 3, 2013

Therapeutic gardening: Cancer patients grow their own veggies

“Hello, Ingrid Callot! My mom is a breast cancer survivor and I want to share with you her story.”

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This was the first part of the e-mail I got from Helena of Arizona. Her 50-year-old mom, Sandra, was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. After 17 months of chemotherapy, she realized that time is precious and that it would be a waste to not make the most out of life.

“Okay, I wanna get my old self back!" Sandra told her family.

It was Sandra’s green thumb that allowed her to regain her normal life. She joined a local club where she and other cancer survivors and patients get to use their gardening skills as a form of therapy.

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In fact, gardening helps cancer patients recover from the physical and emotional side effects of cancer treatments. A study also shows that a mentored gardening intervention can offer a promising strategy in improving physical functions of a cancer survivor.

As what Christine Pollard, horticultural therapy participant in Duncan, British Columbia said: “Horticultural therapy is a tool for rehabilitation. It’s also a tool to maintain the health that we already have, to prevent deterioration.”

But cancer survivors and patients are not the only ones who can find solace and joy in gardening. It’s a great way to pass time, plus you can beautify your home yourself and grow your own vegetables and fruits. So come one, let’s get these hands dirty!

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