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Patio at San Diego Cancer Center dedicated to late Councilwoman

ENCINITAS — On a sunny afternoon, San Diego County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price said the “warm, gentle light” reminded her of a good friend. Price was referring to the late Encinitas Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan, who lost her battle with cancer more than a year ago. Those close to Houlihan gathered Sept. 27 to dedicate a patio in Encinitas at the San Diego Cancer Center, a part of UC San Diego Health System, to her memory.

Ian Thompson, Maggie Houlihan’s husband, speaks to a small crowd at the San Diego Cancer Center in Encinitas about how a newly dedicated patio is “more than fit to bear” his late wife’s name. Photo by Jared Whitlock

A plaque on the patio reads: “to commemorate her many contributions to our community and the inspiration she imparted to her fellow patients.”

Donated by the San Diego Botanic Garden, a variety of plants perched at various spots on the patio testify to Houlihan’s love of nature.

“Thank you for memorializing her in the best fashion,” said Ian Thompson, Houlihan’s husband.

Other speakers noted Houlihan’s fondness for wildlife, which is why animal statues on the patio are a possibility in the future, according to Aaron Byzak, government and community affairs spokesperson for UC San Diego Health System. To transform the space into a full healing garden, chimes, trees and water fountains may also be in order, he said.

“Maggie knew the healing power of nature, so we’d like the patio to be a place that hopefully provides a little relief to cancer patients and their families,” Byzak said.

Byzak said the patio makeover will be funded by UC San Diego Health System and donations.


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