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Paint your healing place: Art therapy used to help cancer patients

Gilda's Club KC Art Therapy Class
Posted at 11:58 AM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 08:06:55-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Battling cancer can be the toughest battle of a person's life, but Thursday night, one organization hopes art will help ease the process.

Gilda's Club Kansas City is hosting an art therapy class for cancer patients and their families. The objective is for patients to paint their healing place.

"It's really meant to give our cancer patients and families, who are served here at Gilda's Club, an opportunity to really think through and be intentional about what healing really looks like for them," said Clara Anderson Sainte, the program director at Gilda's Club KC.

The organization is a local nonprofit affiliated with Cancer Support Community. It offers short-term counseling and free educational classes to help cancer patients navigate clinical trials, understand social security disability and prepare for telling their children about their diagnosis.

The art therapy class is a new addition to help patients stay focused on healing.

"It gives them a break from the heaviness of the cancer experience," Sainte said. "They're still coming in a safe community that understands why they don't have hair or what the bump is on their chest and they don't have to talk about it, but they know it'd be safe to if they'd like to."

Gilda's Club KC is named after Gilda Radner, a comedian and actress who died from ovarian cancer in the late 1980's, but Sainte said they serve men and women who have battled all types of cancer.

Gilda's Club KC is partnering with Emporia State University. The class will be led by the school's art therapy graduate student interns. It is also funded by a grant through the Kansas Creative Arts Initiative Commission and Emporia State University.

The class is free and all supplies will be provided. It runs from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday. To register, click here.