Couple Nurtures a Special Garden at Moffitt

By Staff Writer - February 05, 2024

While John Shadock was being treated for glioblastoma at Moffitt, he and his wife, Ali, found joy in “planting” colorful rocks.
While John Shadock was being treated for glioblastoma at Moffitt, he and his wife, Ali, found joy in “planting” colorful rocks.

Brush strokes of every color of the rainbow can be found at the Moffitt rock garden. It’s hard to miss while walking through Gold Valet at Moffitt Cancer Center’s Magnolia Campus. There are inspirational pebbles to take but also a heartwarming opportunity to give back.

In 2021, the rock garden was less colorful yet full of potential. That’s when John and Ali Shadock seized the moment to help it grow.

Originally from Long Island, New York, the couple started their cancer journey in 2019 in Kansas. It was there that John was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a fast growing and aggressive brain tumor. He was just 35 and given six months to a year to live.

The couple knew they had to do whatever it took to save John’s life. A search for treatment options brought them to a clinical trial at Moffitt. They moved to Florida to give John a fighting a chance.

The clinical trial and brain surgery with Dr. Arnold Etame gave John more than one year to live. Four and a half years later, with the help of Ali, he’s focused on inspiring hope in others.

When John visits Moffitt for treatment, he and Ali plant numerous painted rocks in the garden. The couple’s wish is for the rocks to be picked from the garden and taken home by those who need hope, inspiration, momentum and strength. These rocks are planted as gifts, both as a thank you to Moffitt Cancer Center and as encouragement from one saved life to another.

John and Ali have given this rock garden much TLC. Now it’s your turn. Take a rock, paint a rock, plant a rock and help us grow our inspiration rock garden.

The rules are simple: Take one or leave one. The treasures are meant to inspire and uplift.
The rules are simple: Take one or leave one. The treasures are meant to inspire and uplift.

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