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      Make a Memory program grants wish of massage therapy

      The UP Home Health Hospice Foundation has granted more than a dozen wishes for patients in the Make a Memory program.

      It's all done with funds raised with Dancing with the Stars Marquette County Style.

      "Can we give those legs a little rub today? Can we give those legs a little rub today, Charlotte?" said Cyndi Souza.

      Charlotte Taccolini has an advanced stage of Alzheimer's. For the last year, her body has been stuck in a fetal position. To help straighten her body out, she's now receiving massage therapy.

      "Massage therapy is not going to cure that, but it's certainly going to improve the quality of her life and keeping her joints and muscles loose and working on her circulation," Souza said.

      She's been in the care of UP Home Health Hospice for the last four years. Using funds raised from Dancing With The Stars, the foundation is paying for massage therapy with Cyndi Souza from Lakeshore Skin Care.

      "This is less than $500 for eight sessions to help Charlotte. So, that's eight weeks. Cyndi comes once a week to help here, and we'll certainly look at ways in which we can lengthen that benefit for Charlotte once the eight weeks has surpassed," said Lindsay Hemmila, UP Home Health Hospice.

      It consists of using aroma therapy and working on range and motion of joints. It's Charlotte's third session, and she's already shown significant improvement.

      "I've seen her smile more. She's not agitated with her massage. She seems to enjoy it. So, I've been really pleased with that because I didn't know how it was going to work out; whether she was going to be in pain or not, but she's not in any pain," said Fred Taccolini, husband.

      Therapy is about improving the quality of life and helping Charlotte be more comfortable.

      "With a disease that is progressive, it's important that we continue that feeling of touch, to provide a good quality, compassionate experience every day because the spirit is still present even though the body, in this case, is very frozen," Souza said.