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Many people may think that once they are medically discharged by their healthcare provider they are healed. The truth is that the stress of a serious illness negatively affects health in many ways that traditional medical treatment cannot address. The ability of one-on-one holistic therapies such as, Reiki, guided imagery, yoga and meditation to lower stress hormones, reduce anxiety and improve depression has been well-documented. Having ready access to trusted providers of these holistic healing modalities, not covered by health insurance, is essential to people dealing with breast cancer, regardless of where they are in their treatment and no matter what their prognosis.
In so doing they improve not only their own health and well-being, but that of their partners, spouses, and children. There is, sadly, an ongoing and increasing need for the services the HCF provides, which are not covered by insurance, but are critical to helping women and men, like Connie, make the life-style modifications that can allow them to live a more healthful and fulfilling life – that is, helping them to move from “survivor to thriver”.
In the area of holistic healing, every breast cancer patient receives five complimentary Healing Certificates to use for integrative healing therapies. These integrative healing services have been in existence for thousands of years and are now becoming more accepted in our society.
Patti Joyce’s Story in her own words
Hi, my name is Patti Joyce, and I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 31. I struggled to cope with my diagnosis and the various treatments to help cure my cancer. I couldn’t see much hope or joy in my future, and needed some serious help to get me back on track.
It was then that Dr. Beth DuPree yelled at me to use the Healing Certificates given to me, compliments of The Healing Consciousness Foundation. I went to see Mary Lou Gilmour for my very first Reiki session the day before my surgery, and when I left her house, I felt like 100 lbs. were lifted from my shoulders. I was ready for surgery, and felt hope and the promise of happiness to come in my life.
I then used the remainder of my 5 Healing Certificates on other holistic therapies, and have learned valuable lessons on how to live a healthier life and, perhaps even more importantly, how to embrace and value each moment. My life has changed drastically since my diagnosis. I have reevaluated my teaching career and have come to understand how I can make a difference as a teacher and still care for myself. The HCF also sponsored a retreat for the Young Breast Friends, which myself and 8 other women attended. With three recurrences of cancer in our small group, we were all very much scared and struggling to cope with the fear and our futures. The retreat helped teach us many tools in order to manage our fear and stress. It helped each of us to learn to be present in the moment, and not worry about things that we cannot control. It was a truly wonderful experience, which brought our group even closer together as we continue to live our lives.
I now feel like I am completely awake and aware and am truly living life to the fullest thanks to Dr. DuPree’s foundation and her commitment to healing the entire person, not just getting rid of the cancer. I will forever be grateful for The Healing Consciousness Foundation and the services they provide.
“I am completely awake and aware and am truly living life to the fullest and will forever be grateful for the HCF and the holistic services they provide. —Patti Joyce
Geri Thompson’s Story as told by Dr. Beth DuPree
I’ll never forget the story about Geri Thompson. She was a 40 year-old, dynamic, active and vibrant individual whose life was changed on November 23, 2004 when she had a consultation with Dr Beth DuPree and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Geri faced her diagnosis head on and her medical treatment plan included a lumpectomy, followed by a mastectomy and chemotherapy. Through the help of Dr. DuPree, she also experienced non-medical treatments of holistic healing therapies to help her on her healing journey. Coming out on the other side, Geri was determined to live her life to the fullest. She was convinced of the power of holistic healing and wanted to find a way to provide the opportunity for other breast cancer patients to experience the healing journey in the way she had.
In 2007, Geri petitioned the management team at her employer, Waste Management, to raise funds for the HCF. Through Geri’s efforts, Waste Management donated $10,000 to the HCF that helped provide the seed money to establish the HCF practitioner program. Geri took advantage of the first Healing Certificates issued and was a major advocate of the HCF. She became an active member of the Bucks County Breast Friends Support Group and truly felt the services and programs offered by the HCF were helping her and others on their healing journeys.
In 2010, she was diagnosed with a breast cancer recurrence that was a metastatic disease, meaning the cancer had spread to other parts of her body outside the breasts. But Geri was still determined to beat cancer.
She attended the first HCF Thrivers Retreat in June 2010. The Thrivers Retreat is a three day weekend program that provides an opportunity for women who have breast cancer and are medically fit to come together in a safe, nurturing, and peaceful setting that will help in restoring emotional, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing. The practices and activities used over the weekend were chosen for their therapeutic value.
Geri did not tell anyone she had metastatic cancer. She did not want to pull down the energy of the group. Through techniques she was taught at the retreat, Geri found the personal strength to share her diagnosis with others and became a member of the MetaFriends support group, the support group that developed out of the Bucks County Breast Friends, where those with metastatic disease can deal with issues specific to their prognosis.
In November 2103, Geri attended the first HCF MetaFriends Retreat. The retreat allowed Geri to accept that her life was coming to an end due to the metastatic disease and she was able to live her remaining days with dignity and grace.
In January of 2014, Dr. Dupree visited Geri at her home. Geri told her that night, her wish was that any donations in her memory should benefit the HCF.
Geri died the next day with her family by her bedside.
The HCF establlished the Geri Thompson Award in 2016 to honor her. Every year the award is given to a Thriver.