TAMPA, Fla. -- A one-of-a-kind mural at Moffitt Cancer Center is guiding patients through their treatment process and easing the anxiety of the often life-changing diagnosis.

  • 3-D mural jumps off screen, helps patients understand diagnosis
  • It was painted by Sarasota man who lost father to cancer
  • Dr. Sarah Hoffe hopes mural inspires, educates patients

As soon as the elevator door opens at Moffitt Cancer Center's GI clinic, you're greeted by a bold type of treatment.

"It's definitely a 3-D adventure in treatment of cancer," said retired nurse Dianne Maynard, who has spent most of her life working in the medical field.

She admits that a recent unexpected cancer diagnosis has left her stunned.

"It was very intimidating, and I think sometimes having a little knowledge and the background is actually worse, because you immediately think of the worst case scenarios," she said.

To help with that initial shock and fear, radiation oncologist Dr. Sarah Hoffe is introducing her patients to the power of the arts and medicine.

A giant mural guides families through the process. As soon as you put on 3-D glasses, the art from the mural will jump off the screen and aims to help patients better understand their treatment.

It starts with a cancer cell in its native state.

"It's trying to live, it's trying to grow, it's trying to divide," Hoffe said. "Then each successive panel is the artist's vision of how cancer treatment can change that."

Then follows the journey of chemotherapy, radiation and other types of therapy.

By the end of the mural, the cancer is gone. Hoffe hopes it eases the anxiety and empowers the patient.

"That's what that mural represents," Hoffe said. "We are all in this battle together."

It's a battle Maynard is ready to win.

"In just a matter of a few weeks, we've gone from a brand new diagnosis, to ready for treatment and expect to be cured in the next six weeks," she said.

The mural was painted by a Sarasota artist who was inspired by the arts after losing his own father to cancer.