A Cancer Memorial of Love
Four-o'clock Flowers Around the World Free Cancer Memorial began as a small tribute to symbolically fulfill the last request of Jim Donahoe before he lost his battle to cancer in 1994. Today, this tribute has blossomed into a symbol of hope by the thousands upon thousands of persons who have planted Jim's beloved four-o'clock flower seeds across America and inover 100 countries around the world.
Jim loved growing four-o'clock flowers(Mirabilis jalapa) since his
childhood in New Orleans and
throughout his life. He took pride
and joy in sharing pieces of his
four-o'clock plants and seeds with
others to grow in their garden.
Jim developed cancer from working
the docks of New Orleans. As Jim went
chemotherapy treatments, Jim said he drew upon the beauty of his four-o'clock flowers
to give him the courage and strength to battle
cancer. Jim shared seeds
from his plants
with other cancer survivors
health care professionals in
the oncology department
Jefferson General Hospital. His
last request was
to see his beloved four-o'clock flowers
bloom once more. Unfortunately, Jim lost
his battle to cancer on April 6, 1994
four-o'clock flowers bloomed
two weeks later.
Upcoming Cancer Events in
Metro New Orleans Area
James "Jim" Donahoe
July 17, 1928 - April 6, 1994
A NEW SYMBOL OF HOPE FOR
To symbolically fulfill Jim's
four-o'clock flower seeds from Jim's
were sent to postmasters and governors
America asking them to plant the seeds in time
for Jim's July 1994
birthday. Letters poured in from all
50 states from persons stating
they planted Jim's
four-o'clock seeds. A number of persons who
participated in the project said the four-o'clock flowers
be a "symbol
of hope" for cancer survivors.
The project has continued to grow and bloom across American and around the world through the
kindness of postal employees, governors,
U.S. Presidents, U.S. Ambassadors, royalty,
world leaders, Hollywood celebrities, health care professionals, care givers, cancer survivors,
churches, schools, gardening groups, and
gardeners planting four-o'clock flower seeds.
President George H.W. Bush looks at a 1999
photo of him congratulating Kevin P. Donahoe
for receiving a Points of Light Foundation award
for national volunteerism. The photo was taken
in December 2005.
Free Four-o'clock Flower Seeds
Hundreds of thousands of free packets
of four-o'clock flower seeds have been distributed since 1994.
The four-o'clock flower seeds continue to be offered for free to persons who send a self-addressed,
stamped envelope requesting the
seeds. Join our memorial by requesting
a free packet of seeds and sharing seeds from
your plants with
We are pleased to support and
to have provided
free packets of four-o'clock flower seeds to local
cancer events, including the American Cancer Society(ACS), the
Cancer Association of
Greater New Orleans (CAGNO), the
Komen Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Cancer
Day, and the New Orleans City Park Botanical Gardens. We hope
you will also
support these agencies.
American Cancer Society employee,
LaTasha, holds up one of the packets of
free four-o'clock flower seeds available to
cancer survivors and gardeners.
Free four-o'clock flower seeds are
provided to visitors at the 2009 Spring
Garden Show at the New Orleans City Park Botanical Gardens. More than 5000 packs of seeds were distributed. The exhibit received several awards for "educational"and "society" divisions.