Tina Gifford had just bought a new pair of boots when she received the call.
"I'll never forget it. I was in my car in the parking lot, finding out I had breast cancer," Gifford said, adding, "I decided right then that these boots were going to help me kick it."
And she did, wearing the boots to all of her treatments.
Gifford had triple negative breast cancer, which tends to grow and spread more quickly than most other types of breast cancer, and does not respond to hormone or drug therapies.
To help alleviate pain and bring comfort to patients during their treatments, The Christ Hospital offers complimentary hand and foot massage made possible by donations to the Cancer Program.
According to the American Cancer Society, massage can decrease stress, anxiety, depression, pain, and fatigue for patients with cancer. Many health care professionals recognize massage as a useful, noninvasive addition to standard medical treatment.
Gifford received foot massages from Cheryl Smith, a licensed massage therapist and breast cancer survivor.
She understands first-hand the relief that massage therapy provides during cancer treatment. "The most important thing to a person with cancer is touch," says Smith, who has been providing hand and foot massages at The Christ Hospital Cancer Center since January 2010. "It makes a big difference in reducing symptoms and improving a person's overall well-being."
For Gifford, massage gave her something to look forward to during treatment; something that she said took her away from the stress of reality and brought her peace.
Help patients like Tina Gifford find the peace and strength they need to "kick cancer" by clicking Donate Online at the top of the page.