Men find emotional support on hospital bathroom's dry erase board
Posted February 23, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. — When UNC designed the North Carolina Cancer Hospital, they built it with patients in mind and included dry erase boards in a few restrooms. Nothing much appeared on the boards for the first year, but that eventually changed.
Cancer clinic nurse John Collier says the board in one restroom began with one note: “Please pray for my wife Charlotte."
“And then (there were) more and more messages, not just about Charlotte,” Collier said.
Men dealing with the stress of cancer were reaching out to other men with “some of their emotional needs, their spiritual needs or just supporting other guys,” he said.
Collier told hospital Chaplain Patricia Cadle about the phenomena, and the sight came as a surprise.
“It's unusual to see men doing that,” she said. “It's really inspirational.”
"Pray for my son," "expect a miracle" and "please don't give up" were all posted on the board. People of all walks and faiths go there for healing.
“But they don't leave their spirit and their emotions at the door,” Cadle said. “And it can be a powerful way of dealing with their diagnosis and their treatments.”
Collier says he thinks it shows that men “do need to communicate, and they will reach out and maybe we need to really pay attention to the guys.”