While this story isn't exactly new, we feel it is definitely news worthy!
Lauren’s mother, Sheri Eleck-Haas, began the music therapy program at RMC fifteen years ago. At the time, Sheri was the second-generation owner of the family business and greatly believed in the value and proven benefits of music therapy programs. She recognized that through music therapy and the application of musical methods, many clients with disabilities were able to achieve other life-changing goals as well. For example, songs help Alzheimer’s patients recall memories. Other participants who may have never spoken before utter their first words through singing. Lauren emphasized that music therapy is so powerful because the goals are not just musical – the changes affect the lives of participants and their families – which Lauren witnessed first-hand recently. In 2009, Lauren’s mother, Sheri, was fighting breast cancer and receiving inpatient treatment at the Cleveland Clinic, ultimately unable to sit-up or talk because of her condition. She was in constant pain, for which she was connected to a pain pump machine to receive pain medication, and constant oxygen. Lauren remembered coming into the room to visit her mother at the hospital one day, and she could not believe her eyes: her mother was sitting with a music therapist – sitting up by herself in a chair – and singing Barbara Streisand songs. Sheri always loved music, so music therapy was extremely beneficial to her personally, psychologically, and physically. After this particular session, Lauren recalled that her mother was free of pain for 30 to 45 minutes. Lauren said, “I always believed in music therapy, but seeing its effect with my own eyes, with my own mother, was unbelievable.” She mentioned that she had seen the changes with other clients, but stated, “Seeing it work for my mother reaffirmed my beliefs and devotion to music therapy because it made a difference for my mother when nothing else did. It really was life-changing.”