Local musician plays at cancer center where brother was treated

INDIANAPOLIS - A Thursday lunch time concert was a way to say thank you to hospital doctors and nurses for one musician.

Singer-songwriter Katherine Nagy played for staff, patients and their families as a form of musical therapy at the IU Health Simon Cancer Center which holds a special meaning to her and her family.

In 2009, Nagy's brother, Billy, was living in New York when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. It didn't take long to get Billy on a plane and back home to Indiana for treatment.

According to Nagy, when her brother arrived at the Simon Cancer Center, doctors gave her brother a 30 percent chance to survive. After months of treatment at the cancer center, Billy won his battle and became a cancer survivor.

Katherine Nagy with her brother, Bill, who received months of therapy at the Simon Cancer Center.

"My brother and mother received such love and care and developed great relationships with their doctors," said Nagy. "I'm so thankful and that's why I want to do my little bit to give back."

The concert was part of the IU Health CompleteLife Summer Lunchtime Music Series, a weekly event that takes place every Thursday between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The program's coordinator, Natasha Young, said there are several studies that support music does help patients and their families.

"There's been a lot of music therapy studies that show the positive benefits and effects," Young said. "Like reducing heart rates and increasing their ability to cope emotionally."

Usually, the cancer center's music therapist performs, but doctors, other staff and IUPUI students have played for the concert in the past.

Leaders with the event hope other area musicians will volunteer their time to play. Interested artists can click here to learn more.