Our Story

The FORGET FOR A MOMENT FOUNDATION grew out of a desire from our Founder to give the sick, their relatives and caregivers, a natural, healthy, and delightful garden or a living wall that would attract their contemplation , giving them a momentary break from their fear, pain, and stress.
The idea was to bring nature to those who are cut off from it by the walls of institutions such as hospitals, treatment centres, and health care facilities. The Foundation’s first project was meant for a hospital for children, thence the idea of having some form of animal structure integrated in the living wall.

Jeannine Lafrenière, the founder and president emeritus of the FORGET FOR A MOMENT FOUNDATION, knows first-hand about the stress, anxiety and apprehension experienced by patients in health care institutions.

Diagnosed with cancer, and waiting anxiously in a hospital waiting room for test results, she wished for something other than old magazines to distract her from her worries. If only there were a window, or even a bit of greenery in the waiting room, to help take her mind off her situation.

Sometime later, Jeannine read an article about “living walls” – also known as biowalls, and vertical gardens – and their positive effects on the lives of patients in hospital settings. Having recently completed a project to benefit young people, she became intrigued with the idea of establishing a living wall in the waiting room of an emergency department of a children’s hospital. For children, a trip to the hospital can be confusing and frightening. They want the pain to stop and Mom and Dad cannot help; for the helpless parents, the pain is almost just as bad.

Twitter Headquarters, image courtesy of GSky, Plant Systems, Inc.

Twitter Headquarters, image courtesy of GSky, Plant Systems, Inc.

Jeannine uncovered a wealth of evidence to support the feasibility and benefits of bringing nature inside the walls of hospitals, not just for children, but for people of all ages. Published studies have found that adding greenery to the sterile hospital environment produces:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety for both patients and staff;
  • Faster recovery, leading to shorter hospital stays;
  • Reduced pain, evidenced by lower intake of pain killers;
  • Increased mobility and independence;
  • Higher quality of life for chronic and terminal patients.