Healing Voices

(WSVN) - They are celebrating their lives this holiday season by singing out loud. 7’s Rebecca Vargas has more on how a South Florida choir is turning their stories of survival into healing voices.

Choir (singing): “When you feel down and out, sing a song, it’ll make your day.”

It has not always been an easy road for these choir members, but it does not stop them from celebrating just how far they have come.

All of these singers have one thing in common — they almost lost their lives to cancer.

Mary Kauffman, music therapist: “We have people who are in active treatment, some who are in post-treatment.”

Mary Kauffman is a music therapist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

She knew music could help improve the lives of the hospital’s cancer patients, so she created the Cancer Survivorship Choir.

Mary Kauffman: “It really provides a very therapeutic medium for the members to get together and talk about what they’ve been feeling. You can actually see the relief that comes through their shoulders as they start making sounds and letting things out.”

The choir kicked off the holiday season with a Halloween concert at the hospital.

Eric Borde, choir member: “At first, we didn’t have a performance. I didn’t understand that was part of the deal. I wasn’t nervous, we were just singing together.”

The members are planning a few Christmas caroling events here at the hospital in December.

They say they do it for themselves and the other patients.

Dorothea Lafrieda, choir member: “It makes me feel well and as a cancer survivor, you have to do those things which make you feel good.”

Choir (singing): “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.”

The Survivorship Choir is more than just an opportunity to sing. It has become a way for each of the members to support each other through music.

Dorothea Lafrieda: “It’s a family, you know? And we care what happens to each other.”

The Cancer Survivorship Choir is open to cancer survivors, current patients and their families.

FOR MORE INFO:

Cancer Survivorship Choir at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
https://umiamihealth.org/sylvester-comprehensive-cancer-center/cancer-support-services/music-therapy

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