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Free wellness services for chemo patients

A $3,000 Excellus BlueCross BlueShield grant is helping Cancer Wellness Connections offer more free services to local patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

More patients will get free health and wellness services — such as yoga, manicures, personal training, Reiki therapy, crafts and crocheting — to help them deal with the unpleasant side effects and boredom associated with the lengthy treatments. The grant will also help support Cancer Wellness Connections’ expansion into Rochester General Hospital’s Linden Oaks Medical Campus at the end of February.

“Even though you’re battling a disease like cancer, that doesn’t mean that you have to stop thinking about wellness,” said Betsy Twohig-Barrett, president and executive director of Cancer Wellness Connections. “We’re thrilled to help thousands more patients in 2013, thanks to the Excellus BCBS grant and the countless number of volunteers and vendors who donate their time or services.”

Cancer Wellness Connections operates at Unity Health System’s St. Mary’s Hospital, Highland Hospital, Pluta Cancer Center and the Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center. For more information, go to