Nancy Ballard, Guest Writer, recounts how she founded the not-for-profit RoomsThat Rock4Chemo.

As a retired business owner, botanical illustrator, published author, mother of three, wife for 37 years, and grandmother of three, I was not looking for another project. And yet…

In May 2011, waiting in my doctor’s office, a nurse asked if I would view a chemotherapy room and possibly donate some of my art to liven it up. I have never had cancer nor has anyone close to me.

The rooms were drab, sad and hopeless. One piece of art was not going to make a difference. Those rooms haunted me and so, I found and emailed 20 local San Francisco designers and asked them to believe in my newly formed Project by donating their time, effort, expertise and expenses to help transform chemotherapy rooms. Four designers emailed me back immediately saying, “Yes! Thank you for the opportunity to help!”

The rest is history. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who has suffered through chemotherapy.

Our nonprofit organization, RoomsThatRock4Chemo, works in collaboration with interior designers, volunteers, local vendors and facilities that provide treatment to transform drab, sterile chemotherapy spaces into peaceful, warm and nurturing environments that help promote healing – thus making a tangible difference in the lives of cancer patients, their families and those involved in their care.

Today, RTR4C has overseen the redesign of 86 rooms throughout the United States and El Salvador, serving 10 facilities and 700,000+ patient visits per year – with many more planned for 2013.

To learn more about the organization and how you can get involved, please visit:

To watch a short video of a project completed in Philadelphia, please visit:

We need the help, support and donations from everyone to keep rocking rooms.  If you are a designer, know someone who will volunteer their time, efforts or supplies, we want to hear from you! Email Nancy to discuss how you can help rock!