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Narrative Medicine and How Wheeling Artists Rallied Around One of Their Own

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, in June, 2017, West Virginia University Medicine was studying a little-known approach to cancer treatment called narrative medicine. The aim was to improve the treatment experience for doctors and patients alike.

The idea with narrative medicine is that if doctors get to know patients through their life stories, the physicians will be able to improve their ability to care for their patients, beyond simply managing symptoms. It takes time to sit down and record stories with cancer patients like Lacie Wallace, but the art of storytelling had lasting effects, especially for a patient’s family. Kara Lofton reports.

Renee Nicholson and collaborating researchers have so far spoken and worked with about 60 patients. And the study was expanded after the pilot. Researchers are now exploring the possibility of working with patients dealing with other ailments. Nicholson has maintained a relationship with the family of one of the study’s original participants -- Lacie Wallace. Lacie passed away soon after Kara’s original story aired.

Almost two years later, we pick up the story again. A group of artists in Wheeling recently made good on a promise to Lacie and the two daughters she had to leave behind. Glynis Board reports.

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