NorthBay’s Rock Stars

A basket previously filled with rocks carrying messages of hope for patients at the NorthBay Cancer Center was running precariously low when Medical Assistant Krista Bonds put out the call.

She turned to new-found friend Kerry Wilmerding, a patient services representative at the NorthBay Center for Primary Care in Green Valley. The pair had met a year earlier, discovering they had a mutual love of crafts and a new hobby of rock painting.

Wilmerding jumped on the Let’s Rock America Facebook page where she’s made many friends in the past year, and asked several if they could share a few rocks to help fill the basket until she and Krista had time to make more.

In the days that followed, box after box of rocks from all around the country literally started piling up.

“I couldn’t believe how many arrived, day after day. I expected just one or two, and several people sent whole collections,” said Wilmerding.

With message such as “Hope,” “I think I can,” “Be Fearless,” and “Don’t Forget to be Awesome!” and colorful sunsets, starscapes, flowers and bugs, the rocks represent a colorful, cheerful reminder to cancer patients that they’re not alone.

It all started in 2017, when Bonds found the first rock in the stairwell at the NorthBay Cancer Center, on her way to work. It had a bright daisy painted on the front, and on the back it read: “Let’s Rock America on Facebook.”

After a quick online visit, Krista had a new hobby. She became so industrious, she decided to take some to work, to share with her Cancer Center patients.

Since then, the two painted original art on hundreds of rocks at their own expense to fill the basket for cancer patients. Now, thanks to a little help from online friends, the pair has again filled the basket with rocks of love and inspiration.

“I just can’t believe how many people want to be involved in our little Cancer Center basket,” said Bonds. “I am so grateful that we are getting help because it has been a task to keep it stocked between work and personal life schedules. These rocks that are coming in are absolutely gorgeous and the patients love them.”