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Building on basics

Cancer survivors park slated for UC Davis Medical Center

The R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation has committed $1 million to the UC Davis Health System to build a park to celebrate and inspire cancer survivors on medical center property in Sacramento.

The Kansas City-based charitable organization - founded by financial entrepreneur Richard Bloch and his wife, Annette - has built 16 cancer survivors parks in major cities across the United States. The Sacramento site to be located off Stockton Boulevard at Second Avenue will be the fourth such park in California.

"As a regional leader in cancer research we're very proud to be able to participate in this beautiful addition to the medical center campus," says Bob Chason, chief operating officer for the UC Davis Medical Center. "This park is special because unlike other memorials, it is dedicated to the living. Millions of Americans are alive today because of advances in cancer care."

The architect for the project is Hilton Williams of Forrar Williams Architects in Sacramento.

The 1.3-acre park will extend from Stockton Boulevard towards 45th Street where it will adjoin the Camellia Inn and Suites, a hotel planned for visitors and families of medical center patients. Groundbreaking for the park is expected to take place next year, with construction expected to be completed by June 2001.

Other cities in California with Cancer Survivors Parks are Santa Rosa, Rancho Mirage and Bakersfield.

The Sacramento park will include components common to all Bloch cancer survivor parks:

  • A "positive mental attitude" walk decorated with 14 bronze plaques bearing inspirational and instructional messages;

  • A sculpture of eight life-sized bronze figures passing through a maze that represents cancer treatment and recovery; and

  • A "Road to Recovery" footpath where walkers can read plaques with practical advice for a healthy and cancer-free lifestyle.

Richard Bloch, 74, co-founder and honorary chairman of the board of H&R Block, Inc., was diagnosed in 1978 with terminal lung cancer and given 90 days to live by his physician. He sought a second medical opinion and subsequently underwent aggressive treatment at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. After two years his cancer went into remission, and a thankful Bloch devoted himself to advocacy on behalf of cancer patients. In 1980 Bloch formed the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, named for himself and his wife.


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Site of the new cancer survivors park at UC Davis Medical Center.