On June 19, 2010, Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston, officiated at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Cancer Garden of Hope on Boston’s City Hall Plaza. The culmination of goodwill and generosity from many sources, this oasis of reflection and remembrance was envisioned and spearheaded by architect Jonathan Zuker.
Inspired by the backyard paradise cultivated by his father, Michael, who died of lung cancer in 2004, Jonathan crafted a detailed proposal for the garden. Sale of its memorial bricks and plaques would fund the garden and benefit 16 local nonprofit institutions that treat patients with cancer. Jonathan then worked with city officials to secure approvals and organized a team to design, equip and install the garden.
With his passion, persistence and persuasive plan, Jonathan elicited support from many groups. The John F. Kennedy Federal Building let the garden tap into its water supply. A team from Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers Local 3 volunteered to put in the bricks.
Jonathan is executive director of the Conquer Cancer Coalition. Founded by, his mom, Susan Zuker, and with the help of Jonathan and his brother Matthew, the foundation and its “Conquer Cancer” license plates raise funds to benefit patients and their families.