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Children’s hospital patients planting vegetables

todayJune 3, 2024 2

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A local children’s hospital has found a new way to bring smiles to the faces of young patients.

Sadie Lamers stopped by the Sanford Children’s Hospital today for her acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment.

“She’s done with chemo, but still here for regular visits. You know, once a month, she’s going to have a surgery next month to actually remove the cord that she had put in for, you know, over infusions treatment,” Natalie Lamers said.

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After her checkup, Sadie got the chance to help plant vegetables in the new flower bed in the Billion Pavilion. She’s the first patient to do so.

“Our teaching garden beds and these have been designed in and specially designed so that wheelchair accessible there and an irrigation system that will be amazing,” Cindy Heidelberger said, “I want this to be a place where they can come and breathe and they can sink their hands into the soil and they can understand where growth is happening, that they’re linked to, and that there’s there’s hope.”

Later in the summer, Groundworks Connect will come back to the Pavilion to check on the progress.

“Agriculture is the number one industry in South Dakota. So we hope that if they have to be in the hospital like that, they will learn how to grow vegetable oils so that in the future,” Steve Sikorski said.

And just like the vegetables Sadie helped plant today, the collaboration between Sanford and Groundworks Connect is growing.

“I used to be a chaplain here and every time I pass by I’m thinking, what? What can we do to answer some of the needs and bring nature, bring soil, bring growth into a place where sometimes it’s not the happiest place to be,” Heidelberger said.

This wasn’t Sadie’s first experience with gardening. She likes to grow cucumbers and other vegetables with her grandma.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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