September 21, 2016, Dr. Deb Chirtea was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She was in unfamiliar territory being on the other side of the stethoscope. During her thirteen month long battle, she spent approximately half of that time as an inpatient. As a cancer patient, you can spend weeks to months on the oncology floor or other units in a hospital. She found the color choices and lack of artwork on the floor to be very depressing.
This is what started the idea of transforming the South Oncology unit of Virginia Beach General Hospital. Her goal was to help lift patients spirits, since she couldn’t help them as a doctor anymore. This new project became a priority during her battle. She talked with her eldest daughter, Madison, about this, which sparked the idea of them starting a new business together if she could win her battle.
Their goal was to transform the oncology unit first based around the “five senses”, and branch out into different units once finished. During her time in the hospital, Deb always had an essential oil diffuser in her room. She noticed the relaxation and happiness it brought herself, visitors, doctors, and the nurses. Smell, therefore, became the first “sense” they focused on. They wrote a proposal, which was approved, and now the unit has diffusers and oils available for every patient’s room if they desire.
Insomnia, Deb’s life long nemesis, led to the second “sense” they focused on, sight. As she walked the halls late at night, she noticed that they needed something to motivate patients to get out of bed and exercise. They decided to paint thirty ceiling tiles with adorable sea creatures, inspirational words, and assign different cancer ribbons for each.
Unfortunately, they could only complete sixteen. Deb and Madison’s transformation of the unit isn’t completed and that’s where they need your help. Donating anything you can will allow Madison to finish the project in her mother’s honor and help make Deb’s vision of the unit come true.
- Pam (Edwards) Cant
- JeannieJean Smith
- Tracy Brune
- Teresa Davison
Organizer and beneficiary
Virginia Beach, VA
Deb Chirtea & Madison Perry