Simple sound of a chime is a sign of hope

Sue Anderson hugs daughter Audrey as she rings the chime for the first time.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

Community is an integral part of the healing process at the Florida Proton Therapy Institute and that was never more apparent than the day Aud’s Chime was rung for the first time.
In 2011, 5-year-old Audrey Anderson of Melbourne, Australia, was diagnosed with a rare and inoperable brain tumor. Her parents, Wendel and Sue Anderson, brought her to the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute for treatment, where the little girl’s bright and cheeky spirit served as an inspiration to other patients and their families.
The Anderson family was so impressed by the care and medical brilliance of the team at the Proton Therapy Institute they wanted to leave behind a legacy that could help others celebrate their road to recovery. Sue Anderson and her brother David, both artists, put their heads together and came up with an idea for something to hang in the lobby atrium. They conferred with artist-in-residence Barbara Holmes-Fryefield and wood sculpturer David Engdahl to solidify the creation and installation of a silver wind chime that would be rung by a bell pull.

On Jan. 22, Aud’s Chime was dedicated. Dr. Nancy Price Mendenhall, Medical Director at the Proton Therapy Institute, said “This facility was designed from the beginning to encourage community with and for the patients. Every patient will be able to ring the chime after completing a treatment.” After Audrey rang the chime for the first time, several other patients took turns pulling the hand dyed and hand woven rope in celebration of their own treatment progress.

Proton therapy is a relatively recent alternative and advancement in the treatment of various forms of cancer, including bone, brain, eye, head and neck, Hodgkin Lymphoma, lung, pancreatic, pediatric, prostate cancer and sarcoma. It targets tumors with high accuracy and a low risk of side effects, allowing for more favorable outcomes.
The University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute is one of only 10 in the United States and treats patients from all over the globe. For more information, visit the website at www.floridaproton.org.

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