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LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program members, from left, Karen Kjerstad, Joe Feeley and Boy Freed get a little exercise. The YMCA will begin a new LIVESTRONG program in September.  Courtesy photo |LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program members, from left, Karen Kjerstad, Joe Feeley and Boy Freed get a little exercise. The YMCA will begin a new LIVESTRONG program in September. Courtesy photo |

YMCA kicks off round of LIVESTRONG group

SHERIDAN — The YMCA will begin a new LIVESTRONG cancer survivors group on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Sept. 10 to Nov. 28. The free program is open to all cancer survivors in the community, whether newly diagnosed or a survivor of many years.

The LIVESTRONG program at the YMCA stresses individuality. Certified instructors work with each participant to tailor the program to his or her individual needs.

Staff helps participants develop a personal fitness program so they can continue to practice a healthy lifestyle as part of their recovery and as a way of life.

The participants work out with user-friendly machines and equipment in a supportive environment where the emphasis is on health and not on disease.

“It has provided opportunity to meet with fellow cancer survivors, to share our stories, to listen and inspire each other,” cancer survivor Joe Feeley said about the program. “It has provided some much-needed social interaction to help on the down days, and new friendships to last a lifetime.”

Like many people dealing with cancer, Feeley struggled with feeling emotionally and physically strong enough to remain active while undergoing treatment for his disease.

“The instructors and staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome, to encourage us, and yes — to believe!” he said. “They graciously shared their knowledge and experience, patience and laughter, and we are all better for it.”

The LIVESTRONG pilot program at the YMCA began in November 2012 with two instructors and 10 participants. Some of the main goals of the program center on physical health — helping participants build muscle mass and muscle strength, increasing flexibility and endurance, and improving functional ability.

“Staying active is key to our success in battling this terrible condition,” Feeley explained. “The Y program has provided us yet another means of maintaining our activity levels. Each of us is different, our cancers are different, our physical abilities are different. Yet we all share in one common goal — to live each day to its fullest. This program, and the people at the Y who make it what it is, and my fellow group members, all have made a difference in my life.”

The 12-week program is offered at no cost. Participants may bring a support person to assist them physically and emotionally. Please contact Patty Cox at the YMCA at 674-7488 to register for the program.

 

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