Disney Family Cancer Center offers free integrative medicine therapy for those coming out of severe treatments

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Patients at the Disney Family Cancer Center take part in a therapy class.

John Westfall is living with pancreatic cancer, but with the help of an innovative approach called the "thrivership program" at the Disney Family Cancer Center, he's traveling, skydiving and taking part in a host of integrative services.

"It's an equal opportunity disease. Everybody is getting it," said Westfall.

He is undergoing acupuncture, hypnotherapy, yoga, meditation to name a few treatments at the Disney Family Cancer Center.

"I've had a massage, I'm doing the yoga classes and I've gone to Qigong," Louise Keilwitz said.

Keilwitz also gets nutrition counseling to help gain weight and get her appetite back.

"I teach three classes for the thrivers and then we do one on one nutrition council for them. The most popular class they like to attend is cancer myths and diet controversies," said Dietitian Remy Heustis.

She said the Road to Wellness program is new this year and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center wants the public to take advantage of it.

"I think that it has become a real center of unity for all the services that we have here and that people are really flowing through in a way that makes it very unique," said Dr. Ora Gordon, Medical Director of the Integrative Medicine for the Disney Family Cancer Center.

Gordon said there's a real need to bring the healing touch of these therapies to people who've undergone severe cancer treatments.

"Even if they still have their cancer, they can be healthy and will within the context of having that cancer. And that's what I think that we're really trying to go for," said Gordon.

The program is free for 90 days and it also entitles patients' caregivers to come along.

"We get to know them quite intimately. We all become very good friends throughout this journey," said Heustis.
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