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Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Power of Design: Healing Spaces for Cancer patients at St.Jude Children's Research Hospital

Brizo Blogger 19 Alumni at St. Jude Children's Hospital

Brizo is a fashion forward faucet brand who believes in the power of dreams and realizes their dreams with beautiful and distinctive fashion for the home. Their biggest dream is their partnership with St. Jude  Children's Research Hospital in their combined fight to cure childhood cancer.  With St. Jude, local contractors and leading manufacturers, Brizo has helped supply bath and kitchen faucets and accessories for several homes and in turn has given thousands a chance to win a new home in the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. The money raised has helped research and treatment efforts for St. Jude and helped countless children live out their dreams. 

Brizo invited their #Blogger19 Alumni down to Memphis to reconnect, make new friends, learn about new Brizo products and tour St. Jude to see first hand the wonderful work and research St. Jude is doing. The experience is forever imprinted in my mind.  I went with a very heavy heart to the St. Jude Children's Hospital but left feeling very uplifted.....the power of design combined with pioneering treatments and research is saving children's lives!

Scott Hamilton's Art room in the Target House

The best doctors, the best staff and the best researchers are at St Jude Children's Hospital. Their unique mission ..."is to find cures for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases through research and treatment. And no family ever pays St. Jude for anything." I will say it again, No family pays....St Jude's hospital is truly unique and an inspiring hospital!!! Lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer, once a deadly disease, now has a 94 percent survival rate thanks to the research, treatment protocols and healing spaces developed at St. Jude....

Murals in hallways

Yes, this hospital that treats an average of 7800 patients a year at the Memphis campus understands that design can aid in their children's recovery... St Jude's has created an unique healing environment that minimizes the stress of hospitalization. As soon I stepped into the building and walked the halls of St Jude, I felt warm hearts, motivation and inspiration. Desks and computers are brought down to the children's levels; niches for art exist in waiting rooms; teens have their own spaces; the halls are adorned with color and feel uplifting with clouds on the ceilings, colorful murals on the walls,  and images on the floors....

And the Target House, um ...just amazing... .....a long term stay for families and their children whose treatments last more than three months. Target Stores has given back to the community striving to bring a measure of happiness and smiles for all St. Jude patients thru thoughtful design details.... 

Target House

Like the 'Elephants'....elephants represent family, long life, strength and playfulness, a perfect mascot for the Target House!! These elephants were designed by architect Michael Graves. St. Jude/Target house designers took it a step forward and invited celebrity friends of St. Jude to participate in an elephant exhibition where their works of 'elephant art' are framed. Below are are only some of the pics - Phillipe Stark, Cindy Crawford, Mario Andretti, and Kurt Browning's elephant art.

The Target house features 96 fully furnished, two bedroom apartments and communal spaces that are furnished and donated by celebs like Olympic skater Scott Hamilton, Grammy winning singer/songwriter Amy Grant, Country music star Brad Paisley and snow border Shaun White, etc.

Two-bedroom apartment at the Target House

Let me walk you thru some of the amazing designed spaces....When you first enter the Target house, families can relax in the Library where they can get a book, movie or research the illness on the computer. Positive words like 'happy, and 'believe' are weaved within the bookcases....

Hang, escape and have fun in professional snowboarder and Olympic gold medalist Shaun White's Family Room ( co-designed with interior designer brother). This room is hip and edgy with high tech technology (Wii, electronics, plamsa TVs) fused with custom made and whimsical animal furniture and native american textiles. Love the pig! See pics below:

Laugh and kick back in the Brad Paisley Lodge, inspired by urban cowboys, urban cowboys and western movies. Country Singer Brad Paisley and his wife actress Kimberly Williams Cowboy room has some great design elements like the large Fender guitar chandelier, game table with embedded guitar pics, leather panels flush in the furniture, horse saddles made into chairs. Yee-haww! See some pics below:

Grammy award winning singer and songwriter Amy Grant Music room has made music available to residents. Th room has Southern warmth and style and expands the love of music with musical instruments - guitars, bongos, a grand piano. Amy Grant's hand written lyrics and Grammy resides in a glass box on the wall! I was chillin for awhile on those comfy seats! See below:

Some of the hallways are covered with frames where the children's artwork can be displayed....Great positive vibes...

As you can see, design is powerful and can help promote wellness. Other cancer research hospitals need to model St. Jude because it works!!

After the tour, we were able to meet some of St. Jude's families and patients. for "Design and Decorate with Brizo." This was a touching part of the day where we were able to make custom dollhouses, paint tiles and color with patients. I played with a little boy at the dollhouse activity, and all he wanted to do was stack the furniture and not decorate..obviously he will be a builder some day! Here are some of the dollhouse activity pics...

My friend Rebecca Reynolds decorating a dollhouse

Thank you Brizo for this memorable experience!!

 Brizo invited me to attend an all-expenses paid reunion in Memphis. 

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