Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Hempfield cancer memorial garden

Proud to Be From Pittsburgh: Hempfield cancer memorial garden

PITTSBURGH — Westmoreland County has a new quiet place for people to honor loved ones fighting cancer.

It's a new memorial garden. From afar, it is a simple space with two benches, a walkway with flowers and a black fence.

But with a closer look you see 60 names listed on stones and numerous locks. The garden was an Eagle Scout project by Ben Graham, and it took more than 250 hours and three years to build.

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It officially opened in mid-October, but the mission hit closer to home for Graham, the 18-year-old who created it.

He learned his own mother was battling cancer as the park was being built.


"It was really rough," Graham said.

While many people diagnosed with cancer feel alone, Graham's mother said the project was comforting.

"It helped me to get through it, knowing that he was also doing something to help with the cancer epidemic," Beth Graham said.

While Beth is now cancer-free, Ben just hopes to see a cure in his lifetime.

"I wish it wasn't as much of an issue, and maybe this can serve as a reminder as how pressing of an issue it is – and how much it's going to take to solve it someday," Ben said.

Ben Graham and his cancer memorial garden are making us proud to be from Pittsburgh.