Last winter, the Quebec Cancer Foundation launched a fundraising campaign to roll out its in-chair massage program for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment in hospitals across the province.

It set itself the target of offering this service in 8 hospitals by 2019.

The Quebec Cancer Foundation is proud to announce today that this service has already been introduced in three hospitals, Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement in Quebec City, Hôtel-Dieu de Sorel and Hôpital Honoré-Mercier in Saint-Hyacinthe; meanwhile, three other hospitals are preparing to launch the program in the coming weeks: Hôpital Sainte-Croix in Drummondville, Hôtel-Dieu d'Arthabaska in Victoriaville and Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur in Montreal.
In addition, other initiatives are currently being finalized, notably in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and the Eastern Townships.

Only six months after it was launched, 75% of the program’s goals have been attained!


Massage therapy, a powerful ally against cancer

The benefits of massage are well proven. As a matter of fact, many studies tend to confirm the effectiveness of customized massages administered by a massage therapist specialized in oncology: pain relief, anxiety reduction, and fatigue reduction…
Being able to benefit from a free massage during chemotherapy is like turning a difficult moment into a moment of relaxation, as many beneficiaries will tell you.
“I sometimes joke that this is how I imagine flying first class. I sit in my big chair while someone massages my neck, shoulders, and hands. Enfolding me into a soothing bubble, making me forget for a moment all the noise around me. Except I'm not on a plane, I’m in chemotherapy. I’m connected to an intravenous drip. And I have five hours of treatment ahead of me. 

Five hours is a long time... Needless to say how welcome the chair massage services offered by the Quebec Cancer Foundation can be… like little rejuvenating pitstops in a demanding day.” This was the testimony of Marie-Paule Royer, a beneficiary of Quebec Cancer Foundation’s services in the Eastern Townships.

"Helping people reclaim their bodies at a time when they no longer feel they own them."

The Quebec Cancer Foundation’s massage therapists are specially trained in oncology - they have each received 400 hours of oncology training. Because each cancer has its own characteristics, and beyond the disease, each person comes with their own story. In-chair massages require specific expertise to successfully create that moment of intimacy that can be so beneficial in an oncology ward.
And for the massage therapists themselves, it is also a special time, as evidenced by Josée Parent-Bellavance, one of the Foundation’s massage therapists:
"I’ll always remember that massage shift... [...] A young woman was experiencing some distress behind the curtain separating the intravenous areas. She seemed very frightened, and several people were with her, trying to find a way to help her. [...] On that day, they invited me to join their team and the massage did the rest: the patient was soothed, their work was made easier. [...] Do you know what she told me? You were my only motivation to come every week. I don’t know what I would have done if it hadn’t been for you.

I cherish these Wednesdays when I work for the Quebec Cancer Foundation because I know for a fact that I’m helping people reclaim their bodies at a time when they no longer feel they own them."
By continuing to expand these services to new hospitals, the Quebec Cancer Foundation will be able to serve new territories and to go where the people are, where they are treated, right when they need this comforting human contact most.
That is why the Quebec Cancer Foundation will continue this year and many more to come, as it has done for 40 years now, to develop services and partnerships to ensure that it is even CLOSER TO THE PEOPLE.

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