Hope in Bloom

I came across an uplifting story recently about an organization with the wonderful name, Hope in Bloom, a nonprofit that plants gardens for breast-cancer patients.

Source: The Enterprise

Source: The Enterprise

Linda (Bosse) Charron is getting a reminder of how she won her fight against breast cancer right outside her home. In 2007, the lifelong Easton resident was enjoying her young daughter Jillian, now 21/2 years old, along with her husband, Joseph, and their son, Jared, now 7.

But a routine annual exam four months after her daughter was born showed she had malignant invasive ductal carcinoma, a form of breast cancer. Charron, who graduated from Oliver Ames High School in 1987, faced surgery, five months of chemotherapy and more reconstructive surgery.

While she was going through treatment, Charron’s friend submitted her name to Hope in Bloom, a nonprofit organization that plants gardens for breast-cancer patients. “I am constantly reminded of (the cancer),” Charron said. “Now I’m going to look outside my window and think how beautiful the garden is and how good it makes me feel. I’ll be reminded I triumphed over cancer.”

Hope in Bloom founder Roberta Hershon said the gardens reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and increase serotonin levels in the body. “The combination makes people more receptive to medical intervention,” Hershon said.

A landscape architect consulted with Charron and designed the garden consisting of arborvitae, butterfly bushes, and perennial and annual flowers. It is being built free of charge.

Gardens typically cost $1,500 to design and build and are all privately funded, according to Hershon. Cherron’s garden was built with the help of Baker’s Landscaping Inc. of Norton. Workers will remove the grass and dig the larger holes for some of the trees.

“We’re going to go in and do the gorilla work for them,” said Aaron Donnelly of the landscape company. “It speeds their day up.”

Donnelly said owner Chris Baker is a cancer survivor, so the prospect of doing the work for another survivor appealed to him.

The remaining digging, planting, and fertilizing will be done with a crew of volunteers from many different towns.

While Charron enjoys gardening and working in her yard, her garden from Hope in Bloom took two years to be built because the organization does not have the funds to build gardens for all requests that come in.

Hershon said those deemed most sick get gardens first and then the organization works down the list of requests even if someone has finished treatment since they first applied like Charron. While 60 gardens have been built since Hope in Bloom formed in 2007, there are still 100 names on a waiting list.

Because she has completed most of her treatment Charron said she almost felt not worthy to receive the donated garden.

“My husband said, ‘you did go through it,’” Charron said. “My friend knew this was something that would make me happy. This is a really neat thing.”

Source: Enterprise News