Through a glass radiantly

Flowers of Hope program's handmade stained glass panels give encouragement to newly diagnosed cancer patients
Linda Thompson showing off one of her panels.Mandy Valencia

"It just keeps getting bigger and bigger," said Jessy Carrara, owner of Light Garden Glass Art, who started the Flowers of Hope program in Medford. Flowers of Hope are square 8-inch panels of stained glass made by volunteers as a token of hope and support for women who have breast cancer. When a woman receives a diagnosis at Asante Imaging at Rogue Regional Medical Center, she gets to choose from an assortment of handmade glass panels created by someone who has been affected by breast cancer.

"It sure is a boost to anyone going through this," said Rhonda Refsnider of Medford. Refsnider recently completed her first panel and is bringing her neighbor, Eleanor Hammond, to create more in the next class held by Carrara in October.

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For more about how to make Flowers of Hope panels, go online to

"A friend of mine recently had a lumpectomy," said Hammond. "I would probably like a nature one with a bird. It's a nice way to support a good cause."

The program is in its eighth year and this year Carrara collected 101 panels, many of which were on display Sunday at Roxy Ann Winery for the Flowers of Hope reception. Art lovers gathered there to appreciate the panels, talk to the artists and vote for their favorite. The artist who receives the most votes for a panel wins a $50 gift card to Light Garden Glass Art.

"After today, I will wrap these up and deliver them to Asante Imaging," said Carrara during the reception Sunday.

"Now we're getting a few people who have received panels who want to come in and make them for future patients."

Medford resident Linda Thompson has made several panels and brought her daughter, grandchildren and neighbors to Light Garden Glass Art to make panels. Thompson showed her pieces to those in attendance at the reception and beamed proudly over a beach scene panel her 15-year-old granddaughter made.

She said, if I was sick, I'd want to think about lying on the beach," said Thompson. "What I like is that anyone can make them."

The stained glass panels are not for sale, and the cost to make a panel is only $10 for the supplies in a class taught by Carrara.

Even though the most panels to date were created this year, even more women will be diagnosed, said Refsnider.

"We'll be back, it's important to do more," said Refsnider.

For more information about how to make Flowers of Hope panels, go to

Mandy Valencia is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. Reach her at

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