Cancer garden brings peace to visitors

In the community of Humboldt, you'll find a garden that is not only beautiful, but also serves to help families cope with cancer.

We recently caught up with Jan Wilhelm, who is the designer of the Southeast Nebraska Cancer Memorial Garden. "Too many people have been hurt by cancer," Wilhelm said. "My husband's family lost a lot of people to cancer. We watched his son pass away with cancer, and it's so painful, and I know how badly it hurts. I knew we had to do something, and to give people a place to come and heal."

Wilhelm said the idea came to her on a January morning. "I drew it all out, and I believe I had God tell me to get started," Wilhelm said. "I called my friend, we started the Humboldt Garden Club, we went to the city council, we got together and cleaned everything up. Blessed by God, we are here today."

Many donations made this garden possible. When you visit the garden, you'll see a big brick path in the shape of a cancer ribbon that winds throughout the garden. You'll also see a 34-foot pergola, with bricks on the ground underneath that feature the names of cancer victims and survivors. You'll also see a mill, a waterfall, an enchanted fairy garden, and many flower beds representing different cancers. There are several bronze statues in the garden that tell stories about victims or survivors.

People come from miles around to enjoy the beauty of this garden. The public is always welcome, and there are solar lights that come on at night that make the garden special in the evenings as well. "We couldn't have done this without the Humboldt Garden Club, they all pitched in," Wilhelm said. "When people come here they are in awe of it, and they feel this overwhelming peace. Many people come here and they just tear up. They leave with tears, but with happiness. It brings families together."