Donated by the Richard and Annette Bloch Foundation.
Bronze sculpture by Victor Salmones
Tile artwork by Marlo Bartels
Location: Eastern end of Spanish Landing off North Harbor Dr.
Cancer Survivors Park was conceived by Richard and Annette Bloch as a way to disassociate cancer from death and was inspired by Richard's successful treatment and recovery from what was thought to be terminal cancer. The park not only encourages current patients to have the will to fight but subconsciously gives healthy people the will to fight should they ever subsequently be diagnosed with the disease. A tribute for the living, the park is a daily reminder that cancer doesn't mean death. San Diego is one of only sixteen cities selected by the Bloch Foundation for installation of a Cancer Survivors Park.
Cancer Survivors Parks overview
The donors, Richard and Annette Bloch, believe that the second greatest correctable cause of cancer mortality (smoking being #1) is relating death and cancer. Many have been brought up to believe that a diagnosis of cancer is a sentence to death. Some believe that treatments are worse. Thus diagnosed, many tend to give up and do not try to fight the disease.
This sparked the idea for the Cancer Survivors Parks. The parks would not only encourage current patients to have the will to fight but would subconsciously give healthy people, who otherwise do not expect to get cancer, the will to fight should they become subsequently diagnosed with the disease. While other parks may memorialize those who have died, the Cancer Survivors Parks are tributes to the living. These parks are a constant presence and daily reminder of one message: “Don’t equate death and cancer.” Patients and families of patients can stroll through the park and gain strength from its various components.
The park has two fundamental elements that are common to the Blochs' Cancer Survivors Parks in other cities. The first of these is a major sculpture created by the renowned artist Victor Salmones. This sculpture is located in "Road to Recovery Plaza," the central focal point of the park. It consists of eight life-size figures passing through a maze depicting cancer treatments and success. People can walk among the figures, touch them, walk through the maze and generally visualize themselves being helped.
The second fundamental element in the park is a “Positive Mental Attitude Walk.” This is covered walk way that people can stroll through while meditating and reading fourteen informational bronze plaques that provide inspiration and specific suggestions for fighting cancer.
Unique park sculptures
Features unique to this park and especially complimenting the San Diego environment, include a fabric covered tension structure, which covers the "Positive Mental Attitude Walk" and a dome structure topped with a beautiful mosaic tile design by noted artist Marlo Bartels. Land-scaping, flowers, and a water element complete the park.
The artistic tile work of artist Marlo Bartels is prominently showcased in three features unique to the San Diego Cancer Survivors Park: the dome is evocative of tiled dome landmarks in other parts of San Diego; the mandala is inlaid into the floor of the dome structure; and six mosaic tile benches provide a restful and meditative convenience in the arches of the dome.
The overall effect achieved by Cancer Survivors Park is a magnificent showing to the thousands of pedestrians and motorists who pass-by each day. Many who see the beautiful structures and the sign “Cancer Survivors Park,” will begin to realize that when diagnosed with cancer there is a strong possibility of surviving, and hopefully more resolve to try to fight rather then give up. The beautiful artwork, landscaping and architectural elements help to create in Cancer Survivors Park a true garden of hope and inspiration.
Cancer Survivors Park was dedicated on March 2, 2002.
- Architects: The Kiner/Hurst Partnership - Palm Desert, CA
- Contractor: Ghassan Construction Co. - Oceanside, CA
- Tile Artist: Marlo Bartels - Laguna Beach, CA