Bright yellow in colour, daffodils represent resilience and new beginnings, and each year on Daffodil Day symbolise hope for a brighter, cancer free future.
Marking Daffodil Day on 31 August, this year St Stephen’s Hospital launched its first ‘Field of Daffodils’, a moving display featuring hundreds of blooms each dedicated to a loved one affected by the disease.
Since joining the team at St Stephen’s Forbes Cancer Care Centre five years ago, cancer care nurse Chelsea Buonaccorsi has dreamt of creating a Field of Daffodils for the Hervey Bay community.
“I used to live in rural Victoria and the hospital I worked at used to do something similar on Daffodil Day. I was privileged to witness their display grow bigger and bigger each year,” Chelsea said.
“The whole town got involved and raised funds to support the Cancer Council, and it was just so beautiful to see hundreds of daffodils lining a big grassy hill near the hospital,” she said.
After putting the idea on hold for a number of years during the pandemic, this year the inaugural Field of Daffodils at St Stephen’s blossomed.
“In the lead up to Daffodil Day, members of the St Stephen’s community were able to purchase a daffodil in honour or memory of a loved one impacted by cancer, with all of the funds raised going to the Cancer Council,” Chelsea said.
“We planted the display in our grassy courtyard area here at the hospital, which is also visible for our patients to see from the windows of our Forbes Cancer Care Centre.
“While we know cancer has a significant impact, I think it’s the visual representation which can be a stark reminder for all of us just how many people’s lives are touched in some way but this disease,” she said.
Forbes Cancer Care Centre Clinical Nurse Manager, Cherry Spross, said viewing the daffodils was a moving experience for both patients and staff alike.
“The Field of Daffodils provided an opportunity for many patients, visitors and staff to spend time in the flowers thinking about their own journey,” Cherry said.
“It was beautiful to see one of our patients who completed treatment while the display was in place take a moment to walk through the daffodils and reflect with a loved one before leaving the hospital.
“As a team, we talked about the privilege we have to be part of the journey for the patients we care for, and about the opportunity we have to provide them with quality care at every stage,” she said.
From humble beginnings raising just under $600 for the Cancer Council in it’s first year, the team at St Stephen’s hope to see their Field of Daffodils continue to grow in the years to come.
“I hope that in the future, our Daffodil Day Field of Daffodils will become a quintessential community initiative, something that our whole Hervey Bay community can benefit from and feel proud of,” Chelsea said.