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Revitalized DinoSOAR Garden helps pediatric patients at Palm Beach Children's Hospital escape

Matthew Lehrman Osteosarcoma Fund provides outlets for patients
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Mural of Matthew Lehrman at the DinoSOAR Garden locate at Palm Beach Children's Hospital
Posted at 4:01 AM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 09:19:49-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A secret garden and hidden oasis called the DinoSOAR Garden sits on the grounds of the Palm Beach Children's Hospital.

"I feel that Matthew is here," said Roberta Lehrman, the president of the Matthew Lehrman Osteosarcoma Fund. "I feel that's his smile. He always wore a baseball cap. He's looking at us, and he's happy."

Lehrman tries to keep her son Matthew's memory alive.

"He would love the garden," said Lehrman.

Mural of Matthew Lehrman at the DinoSOAR Garden locate at Palm Beach Children's Hospital
Mural of Matthew Lehrman at the DinoSOAR Garden locate at Palm Beach Children's Hospital

Lehrman remembers what it was like to be in the hospital as her son battled a rare pediatric cancer. He passed away right after finishing college.

Lehrman now leads the Matthew Lehrman Osteosarcoma Fund -- a foundation he started fundraising while alive. It funds outlets for pediatric patients to escape reality. She chose to help revitalize theDinoSOAR Garden at Palm Beach Children's Hospital.

"Our pediatric patients are scared. They are sort of in a scary environment in the hospital, so this garden is almost like a prehistoric paradise," said Cynthia McCauley, the chief administrative officer at the hospital. "From his hospital bed, he wanted to quote unquote make it better."

It's home to dinosaur sculptures, music, lights, interactive xylophone flowers -- even a beautiful mural created by artist Keith Goodson.

"As an artist, that's what I live for -- to bring inspiration," said Goodson. "Anytime you can incorporate a person into an environment with a mural, it's always the best. Especially if you can capture them, the expression of who they are."

Matthew's mother said this is a place her son would have loved.

"Something positive and that's what we want for children," said Lehrman.