Volunteers lend helping hand to cancer patients

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They use their own hands to relax the hands of patients at the Regional Cancer Care Institute.

Kim Klocke lends a helping hand, two hands to be exact, a couple of hours every week, to bring a smile to patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Klocke brought the Caring Hands Volunteer Program to Regional Health three years ago, after volunteering with the program at the Mayo Clinic.
But for her, it's more than just a rewarding experience, it's personal.

Klocke says, "Well, I had a couple friends who got cancer and so I wanted to work in the chemo area to kind of feel like I was helping them in some round about way and so here we are 2,600 plus hand massages later."

But Klocke says it's not just about the hand massages.

Klocke says, "I think patients are stressed out and just having a person to sit with them and give them a gentle hand massage really helps relax and we found that the, just sitting with the patients has been equally as important as doing the relaxing hand massages."

And patients agree.
Lyle Wakeley was diagnosed with lung cancer just two months ago, now spending a lot of his time at the Regional Cancer Care Institute.
Tuesday, he received his first hand massage while going through treatment.

Wakeley says, "It takes their mind off of what they're doing because, you know, that's no fun, you know, it's nice to have someone, you know, to relax and not think about what's going on."

And it's safe to say that Wakeley will be getting another hand massage in his near future.

Wakeley says, "It made me tired, really relaxes you, really makes you feel good."

Klocke says they are working on expanding the program to other places and just recently trained six more people to add to their now ten volunteers.