BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Undergoing treatment for cancer is physically and emotionally draining.
Radiation oncologists at Sinai Hospital are using a new radiosurgery system called the Varian Edge, which is non-invasive and can pinpoint very small specific areas for the treatment of tumors.
Now, thanks to a local artist, patients being treated at Sinai have something beautiful to focus on… in an effort to ease some of the pain.
The Edge system uses high-dose radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy to precisely target tumors all over the body including in the brain, spine, lungs and prostate. This also reduces radiation exposure to nearby healthy organs.
Dr. Jeanette Linder is Chief of The Weinman Family Department of Radiation Oncology at Sinai Hospital. She says that while the technology is incredible… “It’s very scary. There are things happening out of your site, and even while we are talking to them and playing music, it’s still very, very frightening.”
In an effort to make a difficult situation a little easier, staff at Sinai reached out to Baltimore artist, Joan Cox.
Cox, was quickly commissioned to create a ceiling mural to go above the Edge system.
“We talked about Baltimore things and they really wanted that feeling,” Cox says.”And the first thing that came to mind was Pimlico, because it’s right next door of course.”
Across the ceiling, above the Edge treatment system is a colorful collage of custom illustrated images representing Baltimore. Among the many things patients can find are row homes, Pimlico Race horses, Black-Eyed Susans, the Bromo Seltzer tower, a raven, an oriole and other embedded images. There are also multiple symbols of hope and happiness such as hearts, ribbons and butterflies.
“I wanted that ‘OK, you’re down the rabbit hole feeling,'” Cox says. “You’re down here and you’re looking at this beautiful world blossoming above you.”
Dr. Linder agrees.
“We like seeing that balloon,” Dr. Linder says. “It’s like it’s carrying away their worries, and their tumors and they can find all sorts of hope in there.”