San Francisco Woman, Saddened By Drab Chemotherapy Treatment Rooms, Starts Mission To Brighten Cancer Patients' Visits

When it comes to directions, taking a left where you normally take a right, can lead to some unexpected places.

During a routine visit to her doctor's office six years ago Nancy Ballard took such a turn, and hasn't turned back since.

"I didn't think it would grow this large," the 64-year-old from San Francisco said.

The left turn Ballard took back then lead to a chemotherapy treatment room, a place Ballard says she had, thankfully, never been to before.

She wasn't impressed with what she saw. It was drab, depressing, and lifeless.

"As an artist and as a person, it just hurt me that it was that horrible and that ugly," Ballard said.

Though not an interior designer, Ballard vowed to renovate the room.

"When I saw that room and I knew what people had to go through in there, it kind of clicked," Ballard said. "I wouldn't want to be there on a good day let alone a day that I was fighting for my life."

With the help of other designers Ballard found willing to donate their time, she made-over that room and two others in her doctor's office. She didn't stop there.

Ballard has since gone on to found a non-profit, Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo, that does nothing but update and beautify spaces where cancer patients, and those who care for them, spend the many hours the treatment requires.

Since 2009, Ballard and her team have renovated more than 150 rooms in 15 different facilities. The spaces RTR4C have touched are used for more than 800,000 patient visits each year.

This past weekend they made over three rooms at San Francisco's St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

The rooms were dedicated on Monday with the help of former San Francisco Giant, and cancer survivor, Dave Dravecky.

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