Mr. Leo, NPR, Ladybugs & Frogs

After describing Wellspring Journey’s mission to a perspective recipient, he thought for a moment & then asked, “Why are you doing this?” “This” being–provide massage therapy services to individuals with life-altering illnesses free of charge. I answered, “Because we can”. I mean, isn’t it obvious—we want to “help others”. Who doesn’t, right? After my answer I thought, “Isn’t that altruistic of us!”

However, while we do what we do because we believe in the power of massage and it’s ability to provide comfort, maybe it isn’t so altruistic. For example, all of the time I was able to spend massaging Mr. Leo, while listening to my favorite radio program on NPR & discussing life’s problems, has been by far some of my favorite moments. I was provided time and again sage advice from a very wise man–wonderful, insightful and caring advice, from which I regularly draw. During our time I heard his story and he heard mine. Priceless!

In our wisdom, our guidelines for therapists stress the importance of being a good listener & make it clear that this time is not about us (the therapists) but the recipient. Easy, right? But what happens when I have to make a schedule change because my mom is not well—I receive an overwhelming amount of support from those I’m there to support. Most visits now begin with my folks “checking in” with how my mom is or how I am. It’s clear we have become a community of mutual support. In addition to the emotional support, our recipients often want to give monetary donations (thanks Team Frogs, DB, Mary, Serena), in-kind donations for events, testimonials, etc… We even have a wonderful woman (with a love of ladybugs) who will be volunteering her time to us during our “Touch, Caring & Cancer” trainings.

So, why do we do what we do? Maybe a better answer would be, “I’ve come to realize that providing massage to those with life-altering illness is truly life-altering”.

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