New garden will help cancer patients heal

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - As Vidant's new Cancer Center and Bed Tower takes shape so are the grounds around it.

Cancer specialists say those grounds are just as important to a patient's healing as what's inside the center.

"It contributes to the whole patient and taking care of the whole patient on a daily basis," Vidant Cancer Care Administrator Phyllis DeAntonio said.

It's the Healing Garden, a place patients can sit, relax, reflect and now journey inside a labyrinth.

"The labyrinth is an essential component because it adds to not only the medical management of our patients but it also takes into consideration the psycho social emotional and spiritual components as well," Phyllis said.

Asheville artist and designer, Tom Schulz, designed this ancient symbol for a reason.

"the way the labyrinth works is you wander in on the path and it winds around and around, there are tricks to a labyrinth, there are no dead ends, so you follow the path until you get to the center," Schulz said.

And having his work outside the Cancer Center has a special meaning for Schulz.

"I get a little teary here," Schulz said. "First of all my wife, my sister, my brother. I've had a lot of people in my life who have struggled with cancer. So I have that connection but I have to admit, when I'm crawling down on my knees making a labyrinth, thinking about all the people who will walk it, it gets really emotional. And that's when I feel like this isn't just art, it's an honor."

An honor that will guide patients through their own journey of hope and healing.