Letter from Board President


Cancer affects nearly all of us - patients facing cancer now, those walking beside them or those who have lost someone and seek to celebrate their legacy. We are survivors.

I used to say cancer affects 8 out of 10 people, but now I understand it touches 10 out of 10.  Patients facing cancer now, those walking beside them or those who have lost someone and seek to celebrate their legacy are all touched by cancer. We are all survivors.

The Cancer Survivors Park (CSP) is 6.8 acres of intentional greenspace in downtown Greenville dedicated to providing a place of healing, hope and celebration for all those touched by cancer.  The vision for the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance (CSPA) is to change people’s attitudes, beliefs and behavior related to cancer. 

It has been my pleasure and joy to watch CSPA and CSP grow and flourish even in these past two uncertain years of a pandemic.  CSPA has been an important part of my life to help celebrate the life of all survivors including my family.  My daughter Lindsey fought a brave and hard fought battle with colon cancer. Although she lost the earthly battle, her legacy continues for all survivors. I became CSPA president in 2018 to help promote the CSPA vision to “Change the way we live with cancer” and will remain as past president this next year. CSPA Founder, Diane Gluck, current and past boards along with community partners have paved the way to impact and enhance the lives of survivors in a most unique way – sharing the positive effects of disciplines outside the clinical setting to offer healing. The online Healing Stations Program was launched this summer and has attracted 1,000s of visitors to interact with the program by watching stories of hope and encouragement about the powers of nature, teamwork, faith and laughter to name a few.  This program offers the opportunity to add survivor’s own stories to the site and the physical Healing Station monuments will be complete in 2022.

Collaborating with private and public partners and Upstate cancer agencies, 97% of total CSPA expenses go towards programs.  Of the $8.7 Million we have raised to build and sustain this park, over 80% are from private donors and foundations.  CSPA gifted CSP to The City of Greenville for maintenance in 2018 and we work closely with them in partnership to keep its intent alive with programs and special elements.

As each year unfolds with uncertainties and blessings, we remain truly grateful for all the encouragement to remain focused on connecting survivors in our community.  Over 600,000 park visitors enjoy the outdoor spaces in CSP.   More and more people are coming to the park not just to connect with nature and healing but also to connect with knowledge and each other. Just as we continue to add physical elements within the park, we are also looking to increase the number of programs that are at the core of our mission – because living with cancer can be difficult but finding information and support throughout the healing process need not be.   Welcome and Hero, our two newest statues in the park, offer the spirit of connection and courage respectively to those who visit and the Leap of Faith statue to encourage survivors to “take that next step in life” will hopefully be installed by the time you read this letter.   

Our free Prevention & Wellness monthly virtual programs continued climbing to a high of almost 100 online participants providing education on topics from how a plant based diet can help prevent cancer to the deep science of healing.   This all was because of your continued support. 

2022 will bring long awaited acknowledgments, signage and new elements throughout the 6.8 acres. We depend on our park visitors and supporters to be a part of helping these exciting projects come to life and continue.

The support of our community continues to be critical to our mission. We remain grateful to all those who have patiently supported CSPA through our evolution. To learn more about our 2021 accomplishments and our plans for 2022, view our year-end newsletter.

We hope you will join us on our journey to provide hope and healing to all who visit the park. Please consider CSPA as a worthy recipient of your charitable contribution. Call (864) 255-5010 or email info@cancersurvivorspark.org to support CSPA and it’s programs.

Warmest wishes,
Tom Bates

CSPA Board President