‘Little Things’ CAN Make a BIG Difference
Incorporating Emotional Support into Conventional Oncology Treatments via a Variety of ‘Complementary Therapies’ for Patients, and their Families

Music Therapy, Art, Massage, Pets, Beauty-Salon Makeovers as well as a Travel Program are brought to our patients to ensure they feel cared for, loved, safe and realize that having cancer does not mean the end of being alive and enjoying life.

  1. Helen Dennis, MFA

  2. Outpatient Oncology

Mount Sinai West Hospital Center           C/O Dr. Gabriel Sara           Division of Hematology & Oncology      1000 10th Avenue   New York, NY 10019

 Click to ZoomThe_Helen_Sawaya_Fund_home_page_files/beauty%20testimonial.pdf

Donate You and Your Pet!

To learn more about Pet therapy and eligibility, visit The Good Dog foundation site to know what you and your pup need to do to bring certified, much needed cheer into someone’s hospital stay.  www.thegooddogfoundation.org

Right: Our favorite girl, Shamrock, at work at Mount Sinai West





Donate Beauty Supplies


Lisset Cawley

88 arlo road #1b 

Staten island, New York 10301

Donate You and Your Pet!

To learn more about Pet therapy and eligibility, visit The Good Dog foundation site to know what you and your pup need to do to bring certified, much needed cheer into someone’s hospital stay.


Donate Travel

Time Shares, vacation homes, air Miles, etc. can be donated, and you may also volunteer assisting a winning patient with travel planning.


9 Justice Lane, Aberdeen, NJ 07747

Bill Parness, Founder and Director

Donate Art Supplies

The Creative Center at University Settlement

273 Bowery, NY, NY 10002



Att: Robin Glazer, Founder and Director

Donate Musical Instruments

The Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine

Mount Sinai Downtown Union Square

10 Union Square East Suite 2K

New York, NY 10003




Att: Joanne Loewy, Director

Donate Checks by Mail

The Helen Sawaya Fund

c/o Gabriel A. Sara, MD

Mount Sinai West

Division of Hematology & Oncology

11th Floor
1000 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10019

Checks payable to:

The Helen Sawaya Fund

“The program has returned results beyond my expectations. Its benefits have been very profound and  its impact on patients and care giver has created a total new experience in cancer care.”     ~Dr Gabriel Sara

  1. Acrylic on Wood Panel, Made by Patient During Treatment, Infusion Suite

“It's always painful to walk into a chemotherapy setting, however with the Fund’s program, I feel the presence of Helen’s spirit. She is helping others. For me and my children, it means a lot."  -Fuad Sawaya

  1. “I believe massage is all about compassion for each other. My mission is to be a compassionate companion on patients journeys through health and illness.”   

  2. ~Monica O’Leary Singh

Whether a weekend getaway to Atlantic City or a two-week trip to French Polynesia,  these travels gave Laura and me something to look forward to, providing a vital psychological lift from the day-to-day issues associated with her disease.  Laura came back refreshed and ready to tackle the next treatment. Beyond these benefits, the trips brought us even closer as a couple, as we lived out the dreams of empty-nesters.  In establishing Laura’s Journeys, my foremost objective was to encourage other cancer patients to reap the rich rewards that weekend getaways or more extensive trips can bring.

While every patient’s disease and treatment plan is different, our underlying message is: Yes, you can and should make the effort to get away!!!


  1. Lisset Cawley

  2. Hair & Make-up Artist

  3. Mondays in the Marilyn Room in Mount Sinai Roosevelt Radiation Oncology Unit

Cleopatra’s Touch is a Program specialized for Oncology Patients. Providing hair/wig styling for both men and women,  as well as teaching women basic make-up application for use throughout their treatment.  Stationed in Radiation Oncology’s “Marilyn Room”every Monday, Lisette Cawley helps patients discover their inner/outer beauty, elegance and decorum.  There are a wide range of styles, colors and designs offered for all patients, according to age and personal preference.





  1. Regina Scudellari, BFA

  2. Radiology Oncology  

  1. Desi Minchillo , BBA

  2. Inpatient Oncology

  1. Nikki Schiro , MFA

  2. Outpatient Oncology

Therapeutic touch can alleviate discomfort, restore the  mind, body and spirit and provide patients with a few moments of respite.  At the Mount Sinai Roosevelt Cancer Center’s Infusion Suite, you will find Monica, a licensed massage therapist, circling around on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, offering hand/foot massages to oncology patients. 

With 10+ years experience as a massage therapist, Monica has enjoyed helping clients to relax, release tension, frustration, sadness, anger, or grief while taking in peace and tranquility.   Her studies and certifications include The Swedish Institute for Massage Therapy, where she concentrated on therapeutic medical massage, as well as additional specialized studies and certification in: advanced Oncology Massage, Prenatal Massage, Ericksonian Hypnosis, Parent-Infant Massage, Massage for the Child Bearing Cycle, Reflexology, and Reiki. 

In the infusion suit, you can often find Monica, combining‘ Ericksonian Hypnosis’  techniques with massage, creating visualizations to transport the patient’s minds to places of love, tranquility, and joy. She shows patients how amazing the power of the mind really is, and that visualization is a tool they can bring home with them. 


We are equipped to play music with in-the-moment aspects of treatment: alleviating pain, easing side-effects, supporting immune system functioning which enhance coping and reduces physical and emotional stress.

We tailor all kinds of live playing and singing to each patient's presenting needs and according to personal preference.  In music therapy we provide group sessions inclusive of family and staff promoting an "at home" feel and a warm, and welcoming atmosphere. Sessions may include live improvisation, drumming, toning, guided visualization, song writing, song sensation,  music meditation, and sedation.

Music reaches us where words cannot. Music Therapy provides an integral component of care for our patients. In conjunction with the Louis Armstrong Music Therapy team, our certified, state licensed therapists  support the physical and psychosocial needs of patients and families. We meld live music of preference-classical or jazz guitar, violin, saxophone or piano-our team is trained to play instruments from around the world, live at the chair-side.


The Mt. Sinai West Cancer Center’s Artists-in-Residence (AIRs) are nationally and internationally recognized professional visual Artists. The Mt. Sinai team of Artists hold both high and terminal degrees in Fine Art, Architecture and Illustration. Like all Creative Center AIRs, our Artists have been carefully selected, trained, and supervised to work within the hospital setting.

The Creative Center at University Settlement Hospital Artist-in-Residence Program offers patients, their families and caregivers, as well as hospital staff,  the opportunity to be absorbed in their own creative process, as an antidote to the pain, anxiety and boredom often associated with a  hospitalization and a diagnosis of cancer and other serious illnesses. Throughout the residency period, the artist receives ongoing artistic, technical and administrative support from The Creative Center staff as responsible members of the hospital team. Creating art projects tailored to each patient and health care setting, the  Artists-in-Residence are responsible members of the hospital team.



Individual sessions increase spontaneity, support integration and stimulate self-expression that may offer patients and caregivers a sense of resiliency.

Music therapy assists with procedures such as blood draws, iv inserts and biopsies.

Environmental Music Therapy (EMT) is offered to create a relaxed, less stressful environment.


A Note from Bill Parness, on why he created Laura’s Journeys:

Laura’s Journeys has its genesis in the extensive travels my loving wife and I enjoyed during the six years she was being treated for advanced breast cancer. The six years leading up to Laura’s tragic passing in November 2008 were among the best in a storybook 34-year marriage. And, without question, our journeys helped make those years so magical.

Established in fall 2009 in loving memory of Laura Parness, ‘Laura’s Journeys’ is a support program for cancer patients at Mount Sinai Roosevelt Cancer Center in New York. The program is specifically designed to encourage and facilitate recreational travel for the patient along with their spouse/partner or other family members/friends.

Through the generosity of private donors and the travel industry, Laura’s Journeys has now awarded nearly 25 vacations and weekend getaways to chemotherapy and radiation therapy patients through free drawings held in Roosevelt Hospital’s Infusion Suite (11G).

The raffle drawings have become highly anticipated events in 11G, as patients wait to hear their names drawn for trips that have included one-week cruises to various parts of the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and New England/Canada; a one-week trip to Athens, Greece; one-week stays in Merritt Island and Palm Beach Shores, Fla.; and weekend getaways to the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts and Atlantic City. Entrants need not be present to win.  

In addition to the free trips, the program offers live and online travel advice for patients or their significant others. Based on their experiences, our volunteers share their recommendations for places patients can comfortably visit while undergoing treatment, while also passing on tips to make their journeys more pleasant, affordable and less stressful.



  1. Below:  Collaborative Project between units 9A and 11G, Worked on by Staff, Patients, Families and Friends

  2. Right: Patient Ricardo Paredes, Left: One of our outstanding nurses, Marybeth McLøughlin



Tango For All Inc.’s mission is to explore and develop Argentine Tango’s expressive, artistic and narrative potential through Dance Company performances, collaboration with other artists, education, and community outreach.

The team brings professional dancers and musicians to the oncology infusion suite, at MSW,  to perform for our patients during treatment.