A Bay area cancer survivor is crediting a unique form of art for helping her heal. 

  • Bay area cancer survivor credits unique art form for healing
  • Miriam Zimms said Zentangle helped her heal
  • Zimms calls it yoga for the mind

With intricate patterns and beautiful designs, you'd think Miriam Zimms has been drawing for decades. But, it was a devastating diagnosis just a few years ago that turned her into an artist. 

"In 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I had a double mastectomy, went through chemotherapy," Zimms said. 

Zimms' life has been turned upside down after battling breast and bone cancer. She could no longer travel for work and had to re-learn how to walk. 

While receiving treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center, Zimms discovered the Arts in Medicine program. 

"Everything that we do in the studio is more than just arts and crafts. Everything has been designed to have a healing aspect to it," Arts in Medicine Coordinator Amanda Bonanno said.

One of the healing aspects is the art known as Zentangle. Zimms calls it yoga for the mind. 

"It takes you into a meditative state and really allows you to fall asleep at night," Zimms said. 

Zimms said it has helped with her anxiety, insomnia, and it has become a true passion. She's created more than 500 pieces, many of them are on display at Moffitt Cancer Center. 

She has also taken her talents outside of Moffitt and has become a certified Zentangle teacher. 

"The meditative arts allows you to take some deep breaths, be in the present moment, and kind of put things aside that cause a lot of struggle for us," Zimms said. 

Zimms hopes to spread awareness about the hobby that actually helps heal. To learn more about Arts in Medicine at Moffitt Cancer Center, click here