EVERYDAY HEROES: Massage therapist, nonprofit aid cancer patients

Mar. 20—The owner of The Palms Massage and Wellness has partnered with a nonprofit to provide services to cancer patients.

Megan White said she has worked with the Stonebrook Project, which provides complimentary massages. The project is a personal one for White, as co-founder of The Palms and White's mother, Rita Stratton, lost her battle with cancer about two years ago. Several other family members also passed away from the disease.

"I take it very seriously. I've watched people suffer, I've watched people survive it, and I've watched people pass away from cancer," White said. "It's something that is near and dear to my heart, and if I can help somebody or help them just have a little bit of reprieve during that journey, I take great honor in that."

After White found out about Stonebrook's mission, she reached out to the nonprofit.

"We just wanted to use our gifts, talents, and abilities to give back to [the community]," White said.

White said a massage session can be beneficial to those going through cancer treatment, easing chronic pain, tension, stress, anxiety, and more.

"It helps with range of motion, scar tissue, so maybe postsurgery, if somebody has had a double mastectomy and they have swelling, a massage therapy can help with that, or if they've had lymph nodes removed and there's swelling, massage therapy — or what they call lymphatic massage — can help with the swelling or the fluid buildup," White said.

White also helps out with a Kansas City-based nonprofit called HeartConnexion, as well as Soroptimist International of Tahlequah and the Oklahoma chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association. She believes if individuals have something to teach or share, they should do so, and strive for everyone to have happy and full lives.

The Palms currently has three clients who are with the Stonebrook Project. White said walking beside someone going through treatment can be rewarding, even though the disease is frightening.

"Cancer is just plain scary. There's a lot of physical pain involved," White said. "There's a lot of [emotional] pain. And to be able to help somebody through that journey, you know people's lives completely stop when there's a diagnoses of cancer and everything is scheduled around cancer and revolves around cancer. There's an honor there to walk alongside somebody when they are going through that."

Individuals wanting to donate or receive services can go to