Grant to help cancer rehab program at Kaleida

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo recently named Kaleida Health and its “Survivor Steps” Cancer Rehab and Recovery program a recipient of a grant created to carry on Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s legacy of giving and visionary leadership.

The grant is through the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Endowment Fund for Cancer Care.

Kaleida Health received an award of $13,145 to purchase a Biodex Balance System to assist the lymphedema therapy program at the DeGraff Therapy Services location. The lymphedema therapy program is a recent addition to Kaleida Health’s Survivor Steps Cancer Rehab and Recovery program offered at the Buffalo Therapy Services location in Williamsville and DeGraff Memorial Hospital.

The Biodex is used to improve balance, increase agility and develop muscle control in cancer survivors undergoing lymphedema therapy. Lymphedema therapy treatment is for patients experiencing lymphedema, a complication of cancer treatment that causes a build-up of lymphatic fluid leading to painful and uncomfortable swelling in the arms, hands, fingers, chest or legs.

Lymphedema may cause weakness to the extent of paralysis and there is also a risk of loss of proprioception (limbs in space). The Biodex is the exercise component to treatment and a good adjunct to manual therapy. The Biodex is also useful in treating neuropathy, another side effect of cancer treatment.

“We are very honored to receive the grant,” said Donna Gefaller, coordinator of cancer care programs at Kaleida Health. “These funds will allow us to continue to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors in WNY.”