General News, The Foundation

Meditation Garden at The Regional Cancer Center will be Named in Recognition of the Rileys

November 3, 2022

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MURRAY, KY – The Foundation at Murray-Calloway County Hospital recently received a donation from Roy and Jennifer Riley of Murray, KY to support fundraising efforts for the Enduring Hope Campaign and toward the meditation garden at the new Regional Cancer Center that is currently under construction and expected to be complete late spring 2023.

The Rileys have been generous supporters of helping in the fight against cancer through various efforts including: Roy’s current participation in the Men in Pink campaign, helping share their story in Jennifer’s fight against breast cancer, and most recently by donating funds toward a new meditation garden for patients undergoing treatment.

Jennifer says being able to donate to the program is incredibly special. Jennifer’s journey began when she was diagnosed in November of 2020 after a routine mammogram followed by an ultrasound. She then had to undergo a biopsy and results showed it was Stage 3 breast cancer. Jennifer did not have the gene for breast cancer and she had zero family history.  However, she was 1 in 8 women diagnosed with breast cancer. Jennifer began her journey with a lumpectomy and then had an additional surgery because there was cancer still showing in the margins. She underwent chemotherapy known as the “red devil” and then 12 weeks of another chemo called Taxol. Due to an autoimmune disease, Jennifer experienced complications and became hospitalized on three different occasions. In addition, she completed radiation treatments and continues today with hormone treatment due to having a hormone positive cancer.

One of the difficult things she experienced during her journey was having to attend her treatments and appointments alone due to the pandemic and Covid restrictions. Jennifer was thankful for the cancer center which allowed her to do treatments close to home. The comfort of seeing familiar faces and people she knew gave her some peace during such a scary time.

Living on the lake and being surrounded by nature and water helped create a peaceful and therapeutic environment for her. When she heard about the meditation garden, she knew that was a perfect fit to help provide some comfort for patients undergoing treatment. Infusions can last anywhere from an hour to multiple hours, so having a view of a beautiful garden creates feelings of peace, calm and well-being.

“Everyone has been touched by cancer, and too many lives have been lost to this terrible disease,” said Jennifer Riley. “We are so fortunate to have this leading cancer center here in Murray. We hope this donation inspires others to give to a center that will take care of families for years to come. As a patient, I wanted to give back to an organization that gave me new life. We know there are people before us who gave, and it is our turn to pay it forward.”

The meditation garden is strategically located just out front of the infusion bay windows for patients to enjoy while receiving treatment. The infusion bays will allow patients to have a choice of having privacy during their treatments or be in a community environment. The hope is for patients to experience respite from the rigors of cancer treatment and to enjoy emotional, spiritual and physical benefits associated with nature. Spending time in the garden may promote:

  • Physical activity and social interaction
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Relief or distraction from symptoms
  • Enhanced capacity for healing
  • Feelings of peace, calm and well-being

The Enduring Hope campaign continues to raise money for this new $12 million Regional Cancer Center which will bring the oncologists, social workers, pharmacy, and infusion area under one roof. The centerpiece of the new Regional Cancer Center’s equipment will be a state-of-the-art linear accelerator that can deliver stereotactic radiation therapy.

“We are giving back because they saved Jennifer’s life. We owe a debt of gratitude to the hospital, to the nurses, to Dr. Ghanem and other physicians because they did a great job for Jennifer. This is the least we can do to help make sure that we have excellent facilities right here at home to help the next person who is facing the same thing that Jennifer had to walk through,” said Roy.

 The Rileys know this investment will pay off for years to come.

There are many opportunities available for individuals to make personal contributions, various naming opportunities for different areas and rooms within the new facility, and availability for business or corporate partnerships to contribute.

“We are deeply grateful for Roy and Jennifer’s generosity,” said Jerry Penner, CEO at MCCH. “Because of their generosity, patients will be impacted by the healing effects of a meditation garden that will provide hope and comfort during their cancer journey.”

For more information on how you can support the building of a new Regional Cancer Center in Murray, please contact Lisa Shoemaker, Senior Philanthropy Officer at 270.762.1291.

The Murray-Calloway County Hospital is the only nonprofit healthcare facility in our county. The Foundation at Murray-Calloway County Hospital is a 501C3. All donations are tax deductible according to Federal and State laws.

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