HUNTSVILLE, Ala., April 29, 2008 – Cancer patients dedicated their spring plantings at the Intergraph Garden of Hope at the Huntsville Botanical Garden today and shared their fight in the battle against cancer with the community. A unique display and symbol of hope and determination against cancer, the Garden of Hope is a serene place where cancer patients and their families have the opportunity to express themselves through the creation of colorful and artistic plantings.
"Statistics indicate none of us will live life without being touched by this terrible disease," said Intergraph President and CEO Halsey Wise, who led the dedication. "The Garden of Hope serves as one way Intergraph is working to fight back against cancer and give back to our community in a meaningful and responsible manner. Each of our honorees provides an example of tremendous courage and a true zeal for life."
Intergraph approached the Huntsville Botanical Garden in 2006, with the concept to underwrite, create, manage and partner on the Garden of Hope. Today, the garden not only benefits cancer patients and their families, but also provides added awareness and support throughout the community.
Each year, the Garden of Hope has two separate, seasonal plantings: one in the spring and one in the fall. At each seasonal planting, three local cancer patients and their families are given their own large garden area to plant with assistance from Intergraph employees and Huntsville Botanical Garden volunteers. The patient or family is given complete freedom to design their garden using their choice of flowers, plants, trees and shrubs. Each patient's imagination, emotions and individual battle with cancer provide the inspiration for this special garden, making it a singularly moving and motivational place.
Having just returned home from the beach, Glynnis Cory gave no serious thought to an annual exam. That soon changed when her doctor discovered an unusual mass. A week later, Glynnis received an unexpected blow; she had adenocarcinoma — a less common type of cervical cancer. Doctors felt it was contained and in the early stage, but required a radical surgery to be completely sure. During her surgery, doctors found a cluster of cancerous lymph nodes as well, requiring Glynnis to bravely undergo six weeks of daily radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
Now several months after completing all treatments, Glynnis' doctors are very pleased with her current test results, especially the malignancy levels within her body. For the next several years, she'll have regular tests and scans to ensure the cancer has not returned. She looks forward to the five–year mark, when she can finally declare herself cancer–free.
Truly a people person, Glynnis credits the overwhelming love and support of her family and friends as what helped her through the tough times. All the calls of support, words of love, prayers, notes, meals, and more changed her life forever. She vows to show people each day as much love, care, compassion, and generosity of spirit they so openly demonstrated to her.
Glynnis chose an assortment of white flowers for her garden — pentas, petunias, salvia, and verbena — to represent a new, fresh start in her life. She hopes her experience will encourage others to take ownership of their health. She stresses the importance of yearly examinations, wholesome food, exercise, and plenty of sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle. Glynnis' best advice? "Life is short. You need to love your loved ones. Don't waste any time expressing or showing it, because none of us is promised another day and life is just too precious."
Nancy Hampton was always faithful about having yearly mammograms. In June 2007, her routine digital mammogram suddenly changed into something far from routine. It revealed a mass in her left breast, and the possibility of one in her right. After several biopsies and x–rays, Nancy's doctor diagnosed her with early stage breast cancer. Rather than go through radiation or chemotherapy, Nancy opted to have a double mastectomy. Almost a year later, Nancy is doing well, and showing no signs of cancer.
Nancy's ordeal with cancer not only changed her physically, it transformed her total outlook on life. She wants to do things she's never done before. She wants to be sure her friends and family know how much they mean to her. Nancy's faith in God gave her strength during her dark days. She feels He must have something very special planned for her life, and she looks forward to finding out what it is. To the people that know Nancy, however, that purpose seems obvious. Her friendly smile, superb work ethic, and continual willingness to help those around her prove she makes a positive difference in people's lives every day.
For her garden, Nancy chose a mixture of plants and flowers, which includes purple flowering plants, as purple is her favorite color; little roses, in memory of her mother; and a variety of mints, because she loves the smell. Sprinkled throughout will be statues of black and tan dachshunds, representing her beloved dogs.
Yearly mammograms are Nancy's mantra to all women. She encourages women to be proactive and take charge of their health. For someone facing cancer, she stresses the importance of making decisions based on what is best for them. And, during those difficult times, sit down and make a list of things you're grateful for. Nancy guarantees it'll lift your spirits.
Chris Russell views his battle with cancer as one involving his entire family. Chris was diagnosed with cancer on Aug. 10, 2006, shortly after his 40th birthday. While he was the one receiving medical attention, Chris says it was more challenging for his family. His wife, Sharon Doviet, and his sons, Jackson and Nathan Russell, stood beside him during this difficult time.
Chris had surgery to remove the cancer mass, followed by radiation treatment. He was told there was only a three percent chance the cancer would return. However, it did return the following spring. Instead of his life returning to normal, Chris endured months of aggressive chemotherapy. Thanks to Dr. Philip McGee, Susan Nolen, Angie Ezell, and the team at the Clearview Cancer Institute in Huntsville, Chris is cancer-free today.
Remarkably, Chris views his battle as being far more positive than negative. He doesn't associate his cancer with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or baldness. Instead, he recalls the overwhelming sense of love and support shown from everyone around him — family, neighbors, friends, and colleagues. He also drew inspiration from his mother, Phyllis, who died 14 years ago following a long battle with cancer.
Chris selected a centerpiece of bougainvilleas to represent his family with a theme of balance. The plants are resilient while at the same time representing the beauty in life. Red geraniums represent his mother. Bright petunias make up the rest of his garden and represent the network of support Chris received. He is pleased to share the same planting area as Meg Ingram, a family friend and previous Garden of Hope honoree, who died from cancer in 2008. www.intergraphfoundation.org
Huntsville Botanical Garden is open year-round and features a magnificent 110 year–old dogwood, picture perfect aquatic garden, a spectacular wildflower and nature trail, and numerous specialty gardens and plant collections. The 112–acre Garden is a privately operated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization garden which receives a majority of its support from Garden members, supporters and corporate donors. With over 7,000 member families and 1,500 volunteers, the Huntsville Botanical Garden is truly the community's Garden.
Intergraph Corp. is the leading global provider of spatial information management (SIM) software. Security organizations, businesses and governments in more than 60 countries rely on the company's spatial technology and services to make better and faster operational decisions. Intergraph's customers organize vast amounts of complex data into understandable visual representations, creating intelligent maps, managing assets, building and operating better plants and ships and protecting critical infrastructure and millions of people around the world. For more information, visit www.intergraph.com.
Executive Director, Corporate Communications
© 2008 Intergraph Corp. All rights reserved. Intergraph and the Intergraph logo are registered trademarks of Intergraph Corp. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.