Hampton University Proton Cancer Institute’s healing garden has opened – former patient revealed to be its namesake

HAMPTON, Va —  On June 8, the Hampton University Proton Cancer Institute hosted a ceremony to commemorate the grand opening of its new patient garden, Emma’s Sensory Garden. The ceremony also featured a dedication to a former patient, Emma Lednick, who was also revealed to be the area’s namesake.

The event was attended by about 100 people, including Hampton Proton staff, patients, former patients and other members of the community.

“This has been in the works for a few months now and it’s been something I have thought about over the last three years,” said Tiffany Rodgers, Director of Marketing at Hampton Proton. “I really believe and know the importance of mindfulness, stillness and nature, and how they can be used to fuel your mind, body and soul. So, I wanted patients and staff to have an area they can go to fill their own cups.”

Emma Lednick is a patient of Dr. Tyvin Rich, one of the radiation oncologists at Hampton Proton. Her son, Shawn Lednick, is the president of Proton Systems, one of the institute’s primary vendors since its inception. He also constructed the raised plant beds featured in Emma’s Sensory Garden.

“I began to think about a patient named Emma that has been treated here since 2012 and just got emotionally driven to turn [the garden space] into something, as Emma happens to be my mother,” Shawn Lednick said. “She is a part of this center and she is living today because of the hope and the care that Hampton University Proton Cancer Institute has given her.”

Wendy Iles, a Master Gardener in Hampton Roads, also contributed her time and expertise to the garden for several weeks.

“We came together over email, initially, and then started to develop the plan,” said Iles. “It has been a joyful experience to be able to work with them, see this plan come to fruition and meet all of their goals.”

Emma’s Sensory Garden is open to Hampton Proton patients and staff during business hours.

About Hampton University Proton Cancer Institute (Hampton Proton) 

The Hampton University Proton Cancer Institute (Hampton Proton), established in 2010, has successfully helped fight the cancers of more than 4,000 patients from across the globe. Located in Hampton, Virginia, Hampton Proton is the largest standalone proton treatment center in the country, and at its inception, was the eighth such center in the United States.  

Proton therapy is universally accepted as a viable and effective method to treat many forms of cancer—one of the top killers in Virginia. It is a noninvasive option that precisely targets the tumor, sparing healthy tissue. At Hampton Proton, patients receive outpatient treatment in about 30 minutes, which means no hospital stays, allowing them to maintain their current lifestyle. The center treats several types of cancer, including breast, lung, prostate, head & neck, ocular, brain & spine, gastrointestinal and pediatric tumors. 

Media Contact: 

Lourdes Hernandez