Knoxville woman hauls the "healing harp" around UT Cancer Institute


For people battling cancer, the treatment can be just as tough as the diagnosis.
The pain, the exhaustion, the hair loss.

But Anne Jackson is using music to heal patients battling the disease.
She lugs a harp around the UT Cancer Institute like it's a harmonica.
Anne says, "It's about 80 pounds but I have a dolly that climbs stairs!"

Every group of patients gets a little attention.
She'll ask for requests, and even offer the little ones a chance to play if they want to give it a try.

She spreads encouragement along with her music,
"You may have cancer, but it don't got you!"

And how can she be so reassuring?
"I knew that I may have cancer but it didn't have me, says the harpist."

Breast cancer. And it was her music that helped detect it.

Anne says, "I was in an orchestra pulled the harp to begin playing and this pain came upon me and I knew something was wrong. My cancer was very serious, mine was so aggressive."

And now she sits in the very seat she was treated, soothing others' souls

"Since I got to retire because I had cancer, which is a good thing, I am able to give back just a smidgen of what this hospital and god have done for me, Anne says."

Michele says, "You mentioned being thankful for having cancer. How can you honestly be thankful for having this disease?"

Anne replies, "I am just so lucky to be alive and if I can just encourage one person to get through this, because it is not an automatic death sentence like it used to be."


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