Rooms that Rock 4 Chemo

Rooms that Rock 4 Chemo

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In April 2014, Rooms that Rock 4 Chemo will tackle its first project in Cincinnati

Striving to create a positive, healing and uplifting space that spiritually and emotionally supports patients coping with chemotherapy, national nonprofit organization, Rooms that Rock 4 Chemo (RTR4C), tackles their first project in Cincinnati.


RTR4C was founded in May 2011 by botanical illustrator Nancy Ballard in San Francisco. After being approached by several nurses to donate some of her art work to liven up chemotherapy rooms Ballard realized that she could make a difference in the lives of those chemotherapy patients by transforming their drab, sad and hopeless rooms into warm and inviting rooms.


“I contacted 20 San Francisco Bay Area designers and asked them to believe in my newly formed projects by donating their time, effort, expertise and expenses to help transform chemotherapy rooms. Four designers emailed me immediately saying yes,” Ballard says. “Research shows patients heal much better in an environment that is warm and inviting, rather than cold and sterile. In addition, hospitals and physicians are now accountable and rated on patient-centered care. RTR4C enhances physical spaces, highlighting your facility as it goes forward.”


RTR4C is a volunteer organization that is completely supported by volunteers all over the United States. This organization places a strong focus on involvement by the community as well as interior designers and local vendors. “We are the only organization that offers our services,” Ballard explains. “In collaborating with the community, we are able to install a complete transformation in one weekend with the help of volunteers.”


Volunteers, according to Ballard, are also pleased knowing they contributed to the enhancement of patient visits. Since the launch of RTR4C they have renovated 10 facilities across the USA and El Salvador with the participation of thousands of volunteers. “The volunteer aspect is overwhelming and amazing. From the cooks that provide meals, the decorators spending countless hours in design, to the stencil company that provides stencils and supplies, everyone wants to help,” she says. Any facility that offers chemotherapy and is interested can collaborate with RTR4C for a minimal sponsorship fee.


Local lady, Judy Gehrlich, a volunteer and advocate for RTR4C initially approached UC Health with the idea to collaborate with the foundation. “WIN networking group in West Chester is where UC Health heard about Rooms that Rock 4 Chemo when Dr. Jamie Lewis was a guest speaker. I went up and introduced myself and told her a little about Nancy’s nonprofit,” Gehrlich explains. “At the same luncheon I was introduced to Jen Griffen of Your Business Ignited and she suggested that I reach out to Karen Sacksteder of Sacksteder Interiors, to be involved as our local designer. She is working with Nancy’s designer, Cora Sue Anthony of HGTV. They make a great team!”


RTRT4C will be transforming the chemotherapy infusion center and radiation lobby in the Barrett Center at the UC Cancer Institute with the help of volunteers April 4-6 and April 12-13, 2014.


RTR4C along with HGTV designer, Cora Sue Anthony, will be coming up with the concept and the theme for the UC Health Barrett Cancer Center that will benefit 10,000 cancer patients per year. The project will cost an estimated $200,000 which is why this project will rely heavily on donations from families, corporations and foundations.


Gifts for the UC Health’s Barrett Center can be made at or mailed to UC Health Foundation with a note about Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo to 3200 Burnet Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45229. Gifts of any amount can be made in honor or memory of a loved one. Naming opportunities are available for gifts of $2,500 to name a chemotherapy chair and $10,000 to name a chemotherapy suite. If you have an idea for fundraising opportunities contact Becky Sittason at or (513) 584-8540.


Since the launch of RTR4C, they now serve more than 783,000 patient visits per year. Ballard, Gehrlich and the rest of the RTR4C program hope they can continue to provide patients everywhere with a positive and hopeful environment.


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