BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new exhibit inside Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center shows the power that art can play in a patient’s cancer journey while also paying tribute to someone who made his mark on the cancer center.
David Berndt worked in the marketing department at Roswell Park.
Six years ago he also became a patient, diagnosed with stage 4 testicular cancer. Throughout his cancer journey, David expressed himself through his photography.
“We’ve had many patients find art, or photography, or painting as a great outlet,” said Ashley King, Roswell Park’s Young Adult Program coordinator.
Sadly, David passed away this past spring. To honor him and to shine a light on the power of art, the cancer center is displaying a collection of his images in its Community Artists Gallery.
"He was a light, and everybody who knew him knew that,” said Michelle Eisenstein, one of David’s colleagues who is also a member of the art committee.
While medical treatment first comes to mind when you think of battling cancer, leaders at Roswell Park have always stressed the need for a comprehensive approach.
“It’s important to be able to provide for all aspects of the person along that journey, whether it’s medically, whether it’s in terms of nutrition, or whether it’s creatively,” said William Vogel, the cancer center’s art coordinator.
King stressed the need for an outlet, especially for young adult patients.
“We are an additional hand to hold while you're going through cancer that helps you kind of think about the whole body, your whole family, your life, all the different aspects that need to be well through cancer,” she said.
David’s art will be up through the end of January in the area between the main lobby and the Clinical Sciences Center.
His works are also being auctioned with the money going to a fund in David’s memory through the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The fund will sponsor the candle lighting ceremony at the annual Tree of Hope celebration, which David loved. The fund will also help patients with financial hardship.
You can donate to that fund online.