“There is no such thing as false hope for a cancer patient. Hope is as unique with each individual as a fingerprint. For some it is the hope to make a complete recovery. But it might also be the hope to die peacefully; the hope to live until a specific event happens; the hope to live with disease; the hope to have their doctor with them when needed; the hope to enjoy today.”
Located just east of the Rancho Mirage City Hall at the intersection of Highway 111 and Frank Sinatra Drive is a one-acre park dedicated to cancer patients and cancer survivors. The park was funded by Richard and Annette Bloch, long time Rancho Mirage residents, who also sponsored similar parks in many other U.S. cities.
In 1978, Richard Bloch, CEO of H&R Bloch, was diagnosed with lung cancer, which he survived. In 1990, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, which he also survived. His determination to live and do every thing possible to maximize the quality of his life and the lives of other people diagnosed with cancer prompted him and his wife Annette to become active in cancer philanthropy. When Richard Bloch died in 2004, at the age of 78 from heart failure, his legacy included The Cancer Hotline, the R. A. Bloch Cancer Support Center at the University of Missouri, the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation and 22 Cancer Survivor Parks across the nation.
The focal point for the Rancho Mirage Park is a bronze sculpture by Mexican sculptor Victor Salmones entitled Cancer…there’s hope. Comprised of eight near life-size human figures passing through an abstracted tunnel the sculpture’s intent is to inspire cancer victims and their families to be positive and to actively fight the disease. A winding path leads visitors past inspirational signage, lushly planted gardens, tranquil pools filled with water lilies and numerous ornamental benches. Centered in the middle of the garden is an architectural pyramid structure where hot-line phone numbers and sound advice for cancer patients, their families and friends can be obtained.