September 7, 2016

Westboro massage therapist launches pay it forward program

Megan Belanger
Every time someone donates to "Touch of Kindness," a post-it note goes up on the wall of Megan Belanger's practice. A patient can pick a post-it note to pay for his or her session.

A Westborough massage therapist announced Wednesday she has launched a "pay-it-forward" program at her practice for cancer and lymphedema patients who may want her services but can't pay the full amount.

Megan Belanger, a licensed massage therapist and certified lymphedema therapist, launched "Touch of Kindness," an anonymous donation-based fund where people can donate money to pay for massage therapy appointments for others. Belanger said she got the idea from a pizza shop in Philadelphia, which has had success with a similar model.

"I get a lot of calls in my practice from people going through cancer treatment, or from their families, who would like the support of oncology massage but are in hard financial straits," Belanger said. "These folks struggle with many medical bills and often loss of income during a time when they might need the most support. My work is not covered by insurance, and so people were often unable to pay for treatment."

With each donation, a post-it note goes up on the wall of Belanger's practice, and a patient can pick a post-it note to pay for his or her session; $331 was in the bank as of press time, according to Belanger's website.

Donations to Touch of Kindness can be made on her website, meganbelanger.com. Belanger specializes in oncology massage, lymphedema care, post-mastectomy care, and scar tissue treatment.

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