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September 21, 2009

Singing Means Survival for Breast Cancer Victim

Business Wire:

Breast cancer. These two words strike fear into the heart of every woman. Facing the challenge of breast cancer following a diagnosis is often overwhelming.

For Marguerite Paustenbach, her secret weapon in the fight against breast cancer turned out to be her strong faith and love for barbershop singing. Paustenbach is a member of Village Vocal Chords, a Chicago-based barbershop singing group that’s part of Harmony, Inc., an all women’s barbershop singing organization currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.

“The support from my chorus after my diagnosis was overwhelming,” said Paustenbach. “It just blew me away how they all rallied around me. They visited me at the hospital and sent cards galore. There wasn’t any email back then!”

Paustenbach recently reached an impressive milestone as a ten-year cancer survivor and credits the women of the Village Vocal Chords in Harmony, Inc. for getting her through the toughest of times. “No one in my family ever had cancer, let alone breast cancer,” commented Paustenbach. “So as it came as quite a shock to learn that I had breast cancer; however it quickly became a reality when I had to leave my job and go through chemotherapy and radiation treatments.”

Even though the chorus rehearses nearly an hour away from Paustenbach, she was thrilled to return after her treatment was completed. “We truly care about each other and we don’t even have to, it’s not like we’re family and expected to,” laughed Paustenbach. “We’re all here for our love of barbershop singing, but it’s the togetherness we have that keeps us coming back every week.”

Paustenbach said that barbershop music has played a significant role in her life for a long time, but was especially important during her cancer treatment. Many hospitals, including such renowned names as Massachusetts General and the Mayo Clinic are treating patients with music and medicine simultaneously. This therapy is being applied with cancer patients, ICU patients, and patients with brain disorders with astounding success. Even physicians admit there is more at work here than just a psychological high from the natural enjoyment of music and song. Read more.

Posted by acapnews at September 21, 2009 10:59 PM

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