An Artful Way to Support Survivors

May 1, 2022
Art has often been called the “universal language” for its ability to communicate thoughts and emotions that aren’t easily put into words. At the Sue Ann Wortman Cancer Center, the creative arts empower patients to share their stories of courage and survival.


Recently, four patients took part in the center’s brand new Cancer Scarves program, working alongside Indianapolis-based textile artist Emily Gartner to create designs that expressed their individual journeys through treatment. The result is a collection of unique scarves that symbolize hope, determination, and the power of a supportive community.

Marie Wright was the youngest of the women who worked together with Gartner. She described the process as a helpful way to maintain a sense of balance during a challenging time.


“You’ve just got to find something you like to help you through it, something that helps you feel like there’s normalcy in your life. And,” Wright added, “I like scarves.”


Gartner, too, found the experience deeply moving, and was touched by how Wright and the others showed up to their sessions. “In spite of everything, Marie brought so much positive energy to our meetings,” Gartner said. It was especially rewarding for Gartner to see the women’s reactions when their artwork was reproduced on the scarves. “When they saw their final fabrics, they all just lit up and were so excited.”

The Cancer Scarves program is just one creative example of the ways we support and encourage patients throughout their treatment. The Sue Ann Wortman Cancer Center offers a wide range of survivorship programming that includes practices like yoga and the creative arts, as well as wellness programs and dietary support. Taken together, these programs support patients in body, heart, and mind.


Now, our Cancer Scarves participants are excited to share their work with a larger audience. All four scarf designs will be produced in June for Survivorship Month, and are now available for pre-order at the Hancock Regional Hospital Gift Shop for $30. Proceeds from the sale of the scarves will support the center’s ongoing programming through the Hancock Health Foundation’s Cancer Care Fund and Endowment. These funds provide ongoing support for the Sue Ann Wortman Cancer Center and will help sustain cancer care in our community for years to come. 


Where you get your health care treatment makes a difference. Our leading-edge treatments, survivorship support programs, and convenient care options are all about helping you live your best life with cancer—until you’re living without it. If you have questions, please contact us at 317-325-2273. We look forward to helping you on your survivorship journey.

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