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The Natural Healing Powers of Albany Med’s Garden

Kwasi Leslie is learning first-hand that battling leukemia can be brutal. But during his month-long treatment at Albany Medical Center, the 27-year-old from Saugerties found himself being helped by an ancient concept — spending time in the garden.

“I love the sun and the warmth on my face,” he said. “I would be miserable if I weren’t able to go outside.”

Kwasi Leslie (l.) playing Scrabble with his family in Albany Med's Massry Healing Garden.
Kwasi Leslie studies the Scrabble board while playing the game with his family in the Massry Healing Garden.
So as often as they could, Leslie and his family visited the Massry Healing Garden, located on the second floor of Albany Med’s new Patient Pavilion. An outdoor area replete with trees, shrubs and flowers, it provides an oasis for Leslie and patients like him. As far back as the time of Galileo, gardens have been touted for their emotional and physical healing powers.

“He seems more cheery, for sure,” said Kwasi’s mother, Lucia Leslie. “Just being in the sun, it’s rejuvenating. It’s helping him get through being here.”

A place for reflection, relaxation and healing is what the Massry family had in mind when they supported Lifeline: The Campaign for Albany Medical Center with the design and building of the garden that bears their name. For Kwasi Leslie, it’s inspiring.

“I’m going to beat this,” he said.

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