At 21 years old, Jason Devitt could play a mean guitar, run a soccer field like the wind, and put internal fire into his university studies. A year later, in his final year of Biology studies at York University, Jason's headaches turned into nodules that were diagnosed as brain cancer.

For the next two years, Jason's body bore the full brunt of this disease. His younger brother, Jonathan and his parents, Dennis and Joanne, committed themselves to full time care of this wonderful young man. His older brothers, Ben and Rick, felt helpless living elsewhere.

For two years the family's home in south Barrie shifted from a place of laughter and potential and hope to a place of caring for a young person who should not be dying. Grief took over the very air in the home and while Jason's body fought, the agony for his family members was pervasive and very real. Hope fluttered at the edges of this fammily's grief.

This situation had only one route... it was 'through', not 'out of.'

Somehow, someone told Vera Coles about this family. Vera and Savye Braye, massage therapist, had both volunteered at a healing centre in Richmond Hill before moving to Barrie. There was real commitment to bringing together like-minded practitioners in reiki, massage, cranial-sacral therapy, aromatherapy... to give when giving mattered.

And so the word went out about Jason's family, and the reiki community responded. For three months, three healers at a time arrived at Jason's home. They brought with them care, healing energy, daily relief to Jason and his family.

When Jason died in August, those who had cared for him with reiki energy attended his funeral. They met there the healthy Jason, captured on video by his brother and displayed for Jason's world to enjoy... and remember.

Who are these healing 'angels' who take time from their businesses and their families to give away their skill? They are many... a growing group of community reiki masters... but Jessy Morrison, Lorinda Weatherall, Suzanne Dobinson, Savye Braye, Janine Hutchinson, Vera Coles anchor this informal group to bring physical and emotional relief to places where it's most needcd.

Jessy explains: "We don't do it because we can 'save' or 'cure' an illness; we do it to help a person find comfort and relief so their body can heal itself. Sometimes we witness miracles, sometimes all we can do is ease the transition and offer comfort to family members. We help people shift their grief so it becomes more manageable."

These reiki masters do what they do for the love of people and for the results of what they do.

Reiki is considered an ancient healing art of laying on of hands. Reiki sessions are a non-touching, powerful source of support that nourishes bodies and thoughts.

Jessy continues: "Some people say it opens a space from which they can see beyond the surface feelings of overwhelm and strengthens the avenue of grace in their lives." Easier than meditation, more restful than sleep, more revitalizing than caffeine, the receiving of reiki is a gift these women sell in their practices and give to their communities in need.

If you know a person or a family in need, Lorinda Weatherall is the person to contact. Phone: 818-6563, email: bliss@a-w-etherapies.ca.

Thanks to the reiki ladies... Vera, Savye, Jessy, Janine, Lorinda, Suzanne!

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