LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Surpasses 25,000th Participant Milestone

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400 YMCA locations nationwide offer the free physical activity program for people affected by cancer

Congressman Leonard Lance visits a LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program in Wisconsin.

In 2007, the LIVESTRONG® Foundation and YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) began a partnership to promote the importance of physical activity and to make it accessible to cancer survivors throughout the Y’s national network. Together through LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, they have now served more than 25,000 people affected by cancer at nearly 400 YMCA locations throughout the country.

“I was able to see firsthand the great partnership between the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the YMCA and learn of their tremendous work for cancer survivors across the nation,” said New Jersey Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07), who recently visited the Deer Path Branch YMCA in Flemington, N.J. “The brave survivors are getting stronger physically, mentally and emotionally because of their perseverance and the work of the dedicated staff of LIVESTRONG and the YMCA.”

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is an evidence-informed program based on studies that show the safety and benefits of physical activity for cancer survivors. The goals of the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program are to empower adult cancer survivors to improve functional capacity and to increase their quality of life through an organized program of fitness and strength. The 12-week, small group physical activity program is led by specially trained LIVESTRONG at the YMCA instructors. Through the use of individual personal assessments, which take into account the medical and social histories of the participants, these instructors create a physical activity plan tailored to each LIVESTRONG at the YMCA participant.

As participants execute this plan, they are put on a path to build muscle mass and strength, increase flexibility and endurance and improve overall functional ability, which may reduce the severity of therapy side effects, prevent unwanted weight changes and improve energy levels and self-esteem.

“Cancer survivors face many emotional and physical challenges during their recovery process and the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Program helps them reclaim their health and well-being,” said Denise Malone, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Trainer, La Crosse YMCA in La Crosse, Wis. “During the 12-week program they see many improvements in physical health, and the small group environment enables meaningful connections with other cancer survivors, creating long-lasting bonds and emotional healing."

In addition to benefits from physical activity, cancer survivors enrolled in the program build authentic relationships with the group members who support their holistic development. There is a high degree of positive interaction in these relationships, particularly verbal interactions and active listening, and connections are made with participants as individuals as well as part of a larger group. These communities among cancer survivors guide them through safe physical activity, helping them build supportive relationships and reduce their stress to improve their quality of life.

About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. For 18 years, the Foundation has provided a voice for cancer survivors and directly served more than 2.5 million people. LIVESTRONG answers survivors’ questions, tells their stories and helps them live their lives through direct service, advocacy and inventive partnership models. In 2014, the Foundation launched its boldest enterprise yet --the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes at the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. The Institutes will be a pioneering approach to patient-centered cancer care designed by survivors to deliver the best teaching practices and the greatest collaborative research to serve the cancer community. For help with a cancer diagnosis for you or a loved one, please visit LIVESTRONG.org/WeCanHelp. For more information about our programs and services, please visit LIVESTRONG.org.

About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. YMCA.net.

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Andrew Tanker
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