CLEVELAND (WJW) – There are few things in life as scary and stressful as a cancer diagnosis, so a local hospital teamed up with the Cleveland Metroparks to offer virtual reality treatment to help patients cope while getting chemotherapy.

As chemotherapy drugs dripped into his veins, Marshall Dos-Reis, of Cleveland, could see the water. He was comforted by the ebb and flow of the Cuyahoga River.

In real life, Dos-Reis is sitting in a recliner in the Infusion Center at University Hospitals‘ Seidman Cancer Centern. In his mind, though, he’s kayaking on a picture-perfect day.

In video provided to FOX 8 by UH, the hospital recently re-launched their virtual reality program for cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Melissa Bloom is the health librarian at the Seidman Cancer Center and helps patients select from almost two dozen experiences provided by the Cleveland Metroparks.

According to Anthony Joy, CIO of Cleveland Metroparks, the virtual reality collaboration with UH came about by accident. Joy said one of the patients was moved to tears by the experience.

The program stalled due to the pandemic, but Joy said that gave them time to build up a catalog.

Virtual reality is providing an escape for patients from the daily realities of a cancer diagnosis, but doing so without any additional prescriptions or medication.

Learn more in the video above.