Jewelry-making hobby leads to beading therapy for cancer patients and survivors

Helen Lamb-Orendorf is using beading to help cancer patients and their families with relieving stress [KSNV]

We hear about various different options to relieve stress, but one local hero is helping cancer patients and their families with an unconventional relief - beading.

Helen Lamb-Orendorf takes beads and stones to create something beautiful and has been teaching the art for the past five years.

"I love making jewelry. I've been doing it for about 12-13 years now," Lamb-Orendorf said. "I thought it was a great way to give back."

It's a class offered twice a month at the Caring Place, a program for those touched by cancer. It's a part of the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Lamb-Orendorf first became involved when two cancer survivors visited her bead store with lots of questions.

"They happened to mention, wouldn't you love to come over and teach classes at the Caring Place," Lamb-Orendorf said.

The jewelry makers in the room are cancer survivors and those battling the disease, like Nancy Morris, who finds peace by creating jewelry.

"Right now I'm eight years into it," Morris said. "It's very calming and very relaxing."

There are also caregivers and family members.

Vickie Bobish lost her husband to prostate cancer about six years ago. The next year, she started coming to the Caring Place for grief support.

"It was a big loss for me, so this place was very helpful. It came at a point in my life when I needed it," Bobish said. "They always have a saying here, you take what you need and then you move on."

There's something about the creative process that can enhance healing. You relieve stress using an outlet to express emotions.

One of the two women Lamb-Orendorf first met at her store passed away a couple years ago.

"It was very hard losing her," Lamb-Orendorf said.

She saw through their friendship how beading brings a moment of calmness and stress relief.

"It takes them someplace else when they're out there and having chemotherapy and they have - I'm going to cry - they're having radiation. Their bodies are going through a lot but their minds are going through a lot," Lamb-Orendorf said. "They can come here and they can forget that because they're creating something very, very beautiful."

Lamb-Orendorf donates her time and supplies in hopes these women can leave with peace in their hearts and a piece of jewelry.

"We need these kinds of places," Lamb-Orendorf said. "I call it a little oasis in the desert."

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