Lezlie Sterling / lsterling@sacbee.com

Monica Pleinis, a touch therapist with Healing Hands, Healing Hearts, connects with Donald Sanderson, through touch. The 86-year-old West Sacramento man is in the final stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Exposures: I Care: Touching lives in times of great need

Published: Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 - 10:00 pm

In the final stages of Alzheimer’s, Donald Sanderson is unable to communicate verbally. But Monica Pleinis connects with him through the power of human touch.

As a certified touch therapist with Healing Hands, Healing Hearts, she pays weekly visits to the Army veteran who fought in two wars and now fights for his life at his West Sacramento home. She caresses his frail body and tells him softly that she loves him. His face lights up and he gently squeezes her hand.

The nonprofit has branches in Sacramento and Kern counties and in Puerto Rico.

Their goal is to ease the mind, body and spirit of the terminally ill and those suffering with chronic or critical illness.

Pleinis says her journey began as a way to find peace while mourning the death of her infant daughter. “I’m healing their soul so I can hand them over to God again, pure and clean,” she says.

For more information, call

(916) 968-0091 or go to healinghandshealinghearts.org.

To suggest a community volunteer for the I Care column, contact lsterling@sacbee.com


Additional photographs and story.


Read more articles by Lezlie Sterling

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