CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - We're a little more than a month away from the start of 24 Hours of Booty. It is the 24-hour cycling fundraiser by 24 Foundation to bring in money for, and awareness of, the many organizations in our community helping people through their cancer journey.
The Levine Cancer Institute is a beneficiary of some of the money raised through the cycling event. It helps pay for programs like yoga, healing touch, oncology massage and art classes for patients and caregivers.
We stopped in for an afternoon art class.
"Sometimes people who come here forget who they are. Through this work they remember," the instructor said.
There were five women in the room, many of them in treatment or recovering,
"I love the social aspect, let's keep it real. We also have fun and it is an escape," one woman said. "You feel fulfilled. Yes, I am going through things but I can still find myself," another said.
Some research has shown there is a direct link between what some might consider alternative therapies and better health outcomes.
Dr. Chasse Bailey-Dorton is the chief of integrative oncology at the Levine Cancer Institute.
"Your oncologist is focusing on the cancer so I'm focused on how we heal you mind, body and spirit," Bailey-Dorton said. "Cancer is very stressful so if we can do some things to get the body to calm down and heal you are going to see better outcomes."
Programs like that are offered at the Levine Cancer Institute at low or no cost thanks to the 24 Foundation funding.
"We have one of the largest integrative programs in the country because we had that funding from the beginning," Bailey-Dorton said.
That's why this is where researcher Danielle Gentile is working. She is studying healing touch therapy and oncology massage and found both effective in managing pain.
"It provides us with justification to provide the service and we hope there will be greater esteem for these therapies and insurance will cover it and allow patients to access it more readily," Gentile said.
Last week, the largest society for cancer doctors endorsed some of the alternative therapies that are providing relief for breast cancer patients.
It was a great boost for the efforts here and around the country in hopes of one day making these therapies more accessible and affordable for everyone.