Generous Donations Made Cancer Center Patient Tribute Tree Possible

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The Patient Tribute Tree will be dedicated in a special ceremony on August 23 honoring the fifth anniversary of the Cancer Center.

ROCK SPRINGS — A generous donation and the talent of an area business have resulted in a custom piece of metal art that will serve as a tribute to patients at Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center.

A metal tree with colored ribbons, donated by Cutting Edge Designs and SweetwaterNow, was recently erected outside of the Cancer Center entrance. It will be dedicated during the center’s fifth anniversary celebration from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cancer Center’s back entrance at 1180 College Drive.

SweetwaterNow donated $1,000 of its 2018 Beard Bash Fundraiser at the end of No-Shave November. The fundraiser aimed to raise awareness and money for local cancer resources.

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“In 2018, the event surpassed our expectations,” said Gary Collins, SweetwaterNow chief operating officer. “We were able to not only donate $1,000 to the Cancer Center, but we also donated $1,000 to Cowboys Against Cancer.”

“The Cancer Center was chosen because all of us understand the importance of being able to find a sense of comfort in getting your health care and treatment close to home,” Collins added.

The Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center team decided to use the money in a way that would honor all patients. They settled on a type of outdoor art. When MHSC Social Worker James Cummings went in search of someone skilled at metal design work, he was referred to Cutting Edge Designs.

Owners Cody and Lynne Gutierrez met with Cummings and listened to what the Cancer Center team had in mind.

“Cody sat down one day and started designing, and came up with the tree,” Lynne Gutierrez said. Cummings and the Cancer Center team liked what they saw.

“When you’re going through cancer treatment, it’s quite a journey,” Gutierrez said. “Both of Cody’s grandmothers died of cancer. The tree represents the journey and everything that goes on as you’re growing as a patient, and hopefully getting better.

“Cancer doesn’t just affect the person with cancer,” she said. “It affects your whole family. At the base (of the artwork) are the roots, your family.”

The ribbons hanging from the branches signify different types of cancers, and one ribbon for caregivers.

Cutting Edge Designs donated all of the material and labor costs above the initial $1,000 donation.

“We put a lot of hours and love into it,” Lynne Gutierrez said. Cummings said he was honored to help bring the project to fruition.

“Cancer is something that has touched my family, as well,” Cummings said. “It’s nice that I can make a contribution that will stand the test of time and that is meaningful.”

About MHSC

MHSC is a non-profit, 99-bed, regional acute-care facility in southwestern Wyoming. The hospital has more than 500 employees, including more than 30 employed physicians providing care in more than two dozen specialty fields. MHSC offers care in ENT/otolaryngology, family medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, pulmonology, pediatrics, nephrology, obstetrics and women’s health, oncology, orthopedics and sports medicine, and urology. Services include cardiac rehabilitation, cardio and respiratory, diabetes education, dialysis, emergency care, intensive care, laboratory services, medical imaging, medical and surgical, nutrition therapy, rehabilitation and sleep disorder lab, as well as cardiology, vascular and maternal-fetal medicine services through its affiliation with University of Utah Health. Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center is an affiliate partner of the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute.