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    Santa Rosa Patient Stories

    The Institute for Health & Healing patients in Santa Rosa share their stories of gratitude for the Barb's Race Grants and Saturday Clinic for Cancer Patients. Visit our Santa Rosa clinic page, to learn more about our free services cancer patients.



    Kerith Kirkwood Story











    "I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, I was 39 years old. The amazing team of doctors at Sutter Pacific took care of me and one of the nurses referred me to a support group where I met Cindi Cantril. She talked to me about the Institute for Health & Healing clinic and services it offers for cancer patients and she encouraged me to give it a try. I have never had acupuncture treatments or Reiki healings done in the past. I have only had Swedish massages or gone to a few yoga classes but I was not aware of these types of treatments. I started going to acupuncture treatments while I was going through my chemotherapy and it really helped me to manage my side effects and the discomfort associated with chemotherapy. I also attended deep relaxation yoga classes which I loved since the first class; I kept going as much as I could and tried new things whenever I had a chance. I eventually became a recipient of the Barb's Grant which allows me to continue to receive their services even during the week as needed. I am about to start radiation therapy and I am grateful for the services provided by the Institute for Health & Healing clinic and for Barb's Grant, I know that receiving these services really helped me to get through my cancer journey with fewer bumps, and less discomfort. "
    -Cancer Patient

    "The services that the IHH provides for free are an absolute gift of love. I received services once a week for five months while I underwent chemotherapy and reconstruction. So many different therapies and counseling are provided and I took advantage of all. The group sessions are so important and the opportunity to receive massage and acupuncture, for me, was so helpful to my recovery. The cancer treatment is so hard on the body and I feel like the care that I got there really helped to relieve the stress and calm the body and soul. Chemotherapy is a shock to the system in so many ways. I hope that the IHH can continue to provide services to the women of Sonoma County like myself who don't have the money to pay for alternative/complimentary methods of healing. The counseling and group sessions are absolutely essential to maintaining the emotional and spiritual strength required to carry on through what seems more like a wrongful conviction rather than "a journey". My life is so much better today and I owe it in large part to my new friends at the Institute for Health & Healing."
    - Cancer Patient

    "Due to untreated chemical sensitivity, I was unable to complete the chemo treatment for cancer or any radiation or hormone treatment after surgery removed my breast and lymph node cancer. Though I was recovering nicely from the surgery, the first chemo treatment left me in extreme pain and scared from four days of Kodak moment hallucinations. This is why I feel the craniosacral therapist who has been treating me has saved my life. And my daughters’, since I am the sole support for their needs. She has cut my pain in half, and her energy and hands moving in the right places has supported me in ways I’ve never had before and needed sorely! Every single treatment has left me feeling stronger, more able to go on. Because I also have heat intolerance, the Institute for Health & Healing has worked to accommodate even that, and I can never repay their kindness. They have educated me in food choices, extremely important for any cancer patient, and understood and supported my every teardrop. Hearing much sharing between women in the waiting room is supportive and educational. I know many people have donated money and time to make this center happen, and to them, my undying gratitude."
    - Cancer Patient

    “During my breast cancer treatment, I was fortunate to have access to free healing bodywork, breathwork and other forms of treatment through the Saturday clinic. The relaxation and touch were an integral part of my care during that time. To have the ability to reduce the stress of both treatment and all the research and decision making was a huge component in what feels like a successful journey through treatment. Each week I took advantage of the services, the following week felt less daunting, the burden on my brain and nervous system reduced and I would leave after each session more able to face the week ahead. I am forever grateful for all this help as is my circle of friends and family.”
    - Cancer Patient

    “I don’t know how I would have made it without the service you provided me. I went through six rounds of chemotherapy and had many side effects. I was depressed and had much pain. I was able to come for free and get acupuncture and other services from loving, knowledgeable, excellent volunteers. I was always greeted with love and kindness from the office staff and made to feel so welcome and cared about. I had lost my job and finances were tight so I could not afford to pay for anything but necessities. You got me through this difficult time. It made a huge difference in my well being. I am forever grateful.”
    - Cancer Patient

    I am writing to you to convey my heartfelt gratitude for your program. Seven months ago I received a shocking diagnosis of stage IIB breast cancer. As a young single mother of two teenage boys, I was overcome with grief and despair at what felt like a death sentence. The Institute for Health & Healing has been the greatest resource that has helped me navigate this diagnosis and regain a sense of strength and renewal in my life. Now I realize that breast cancer is something I can heal from and overcome, and I find this renewed perspective because I have been the beneficiary of your clinic.

    Through the Institute for Health & Healing, I am receiving consultation on nutrition, naturopathy, and integrative health as well as treatments in acupuncture and psychology. Without these supportive services I would be lost. These treatments are supporting my body and spirit while I have been going through the conventional cancer treatments by recalibrating and attuning my body to its natural healing abilities. They help with mitigating the fatigue and pain as well as easing stress and tension. I am also experiencing improved digestion, restorative sleep, and support for the medically-induced menopausal symptoms. These treatments have been vital to my healing process, and I am so tremendously grateful. Thank you so much.

    As a single parent with limited financial resources, I would not have been able to receive any of these amazing services without the Barb’s Race Grant and the Patient Assistance Fund Grant. This has been a humbling experience for me, and learning how to ask for and receive support has been a great lesson for me through this experience. The incredible staff and practitioners through the Institute for Health & Healing support me in feeling safe, worthy of support and care, and unconditional positive regard. They are my angels. This is a remarkable program that is so valuable to my healing process. Thank you, thank you for providing such a valuable program and making it accessible to all.
    - Cancer Patient