Healing arts

Through words and images, people affected by cancer share their powerful stories

Relay For Life
The American Cancer Society will hold its 24-hour awareness and fund-raising event this weekend, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday (June 9) at the Chico State Stadium. From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., ACS will enroll volunteers for its third Cancer Prevention Study. A “luminaria” ceremony will take place after sunset. Check www.cancer.org for more information.

Cancer outreach
For details about the programs at the Enloe Cancer Center, visit the “Zen of Healing” booth at Relay For Life, check www.enloe.org/cancer or call Rebecca Senoglu (pronounced SHEN-a-loo) at 332-3856.

Rebecca Senoglu has seen the healing power of art. She’s seen people who’ve shuffled into the Enloe Cancer Center, hunched over and down, start walking with heads held high after glimpsing an origami crane display. She’s seen patients perk up through writing, painting and dance. She’s seen epiphanies come from a single paragraph read out of a book in the center’s library.

Creativity is a powerful force.

“I don’t label it as a cure,” said Senoglu, who coordinates Enloe’s cancer-support programs, “but I know it helps people feel better—and in dealing with cancer, people will do anything to feel better. So even if someone’s cancer doesn’t go away, they’re feeling better along the way.”

As a result, artistic therapies play a part in the Chico hospital’s Cancer Connection Case Management, which also includes assistance and counseling. “Telling Our Stories” workshops help patients put their experiences in words. “VIVA!” helps kids work through their emotions with art projects. “Focus on Healing” dance sessions spark self-expression through movement. And visual-art installations line the walls—and some ceilings—of the cancer center on Cohasset Road.

Cancer stories are intensely personal. Five people touched by the creative impulse have kindly shared theirs, through eloquent, expressive works.