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Free Programs for Patients after Cancer Treatment - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Free Programs for Patients after Cancer Treatment

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Being diagnosed with cancer then going through treatment can turn a person's life upside down. More than ever before healthcare professionals are seeing the benefits of helping patients long after treatment. Three years ago Betsy Fechteler was treated for breast cancer. Like many patients, her range of motion in her arm and shoulder was affected after surgery.

"It was difficult for me to stand with proper poster," Fechteler said.

She turned to yoga taught by an instructor at Martha Jefferson Hospital. Yoga has become an integral part of many patients' recovery, helping them cope with the stress of the disease both mentally and physically.

"Yoga is more than just a really good exercise. There's certainly a mind body connection. It helps with relaxation and for instance helps with sleep," Fechteler said.

Susanna Nicholson is Director of Union Yoga at Martha Jefferson Hospital and instructs patients including Fechteler.

"After a yoga session even people who are currently in treatment often experience a revival of energy and focus," Nicholson said.

The yoga class is just one of many free programs and services offered at Martha Jefferson Hospital. Patients and their families can take advantage of free massages and support groups.

There's also access to a dietician, a cosmetic class and a room for patients to be fitted with a wig. Victoria Brunjes is the Cancer Resource Center Coordinator at Martha Jefferson Hospital.

"Some people say you're never back to normal after a diagnosis but it does help you get through the traumatic time and plus when the treatment is over," Brunjes said.

The annual fundraiser, Martha's Market, helps to pay for the programs and services for patients and their families at Martha Jefferson Hospital.

Reported by Jennifer Von Reuter
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