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Livestrong at the YMCA - Participant Testimonials


LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA is a research-based physical activity and well-being program designed to help adult cancer survivors reclaim their total health. This program is offered at no cost to any adult cancer survivor, and also includes a complimentary household membership to the YMCA for the duration of the program. In this 12-week group training program, participants receive one-on-one attention in a group setting, which creates a safe and comfortable workout environment. Participants work with Y staff trained in supportive cancer care to safely achieve their goals such as building muscle and strength, increasing flexibility and endurance, and improving confidence and self-esteem. By focusing on the whole person, LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA is helping people move beyond cancer care in spirit, mind and body.


Livestrong student chatting with group leader


► "My story begins with calling the local Y and inquiring about a membership. During the conversation I mentioned I was 66 and actually a terminal cancer patient with cholangiocarcinoma. The Y staffer mentioned I might benefit from their Livestrong program. It had been eight months since I had finished my chemo and radiation treatment which left me with no muscle. I also had been free of any treatment in those eight months and really knew I needed to try and get some strength back.

I went to the Y and spoke to Amber Cornist. She explained the program to me and I knew it was exactly what I needed. I knew immediately of a sister and a friend who would also benefit from the program. Amber worked hard and was able to put a class together even though they had just finished one.

My experience was everything I needed. It was a blessing to spend time with people who had walked the cancer journey and we enjoyed encouraging each other to keep reaching for goals. The staff couldn’t have been anymore helpful with the training they had received and knowledge they shared. I could tell right away that the exercise was more helpful than I expected for my mental health recovery making me realize there was no reason I couldn’t push myself physically.

I feel this is a program all cancer patients would be blessed by as they finish their treatments. I can’t thank everyone involved enough for what this did for my quality of life as I continue my cancer journey." Livestrong at the YMCA Participant


► "Livestrong is the best thing I ever did for myself. I have been a gym member for 25 years but the trainers taught me so much about stretching, cardio, weights and nutrition that I never knew. With my Livestrong group I felt comfortable exploring new classes and the trainers showed me numerous times that I could do things that I didn’t think I could do.

Livestrong not only helped me physically — I made lifelong friendships with women and men who inspire and encourage me. Through their stories, I have learned things that have helped me along the way.

I told my neurosurgeon and other doctors to recommend Livestrong to their patients. Why? Because the Livestrong experience is truly life changing!" Livestrong at the YMCA Participant


► "Here is my review of the Livestrong Program.

I've very happy I decided to join the Livestrong Program at the Y. I was looking for a way to kickstart a new exercise/wellness program after going through chemotherapy. I was planning to join the Y and found the Livestrong Program information on their website.

I joined the program wanting to get my strength back and increase my endurance. I thought this would be a good way to hold myself accountable for my own wellness journey while getting familiar with a new gym. I'm typically not one to seek community but I'm so thankful I did. I met a wonderful group of people who could relate to what I was going through. We could all sympathize with one another and uplift each other in an invaluable way that I wouldn't have found elsewhere.

The program is well organized and structured to give you all the tools you need to be successful on your whole-health wellness path. I would recommend this to anyone going through a journey with cancer, whether you are just wrapping up treatments, or years out. There is never a wrong time to start taking control of your health in this important way.

I would especially like to thank Amber, Belinda and Kelsey at the Armbrust YMCA. They truly care for your whole person. They provided all the knowledge required to get started (or get back into) a weight lifting and/or cardio fitness routine. They were able to provide alternatives and modifications to any exercise in order to meet each individual's current needs and abilities. They also took the time to get to know me on a deeper level and became invaluable players on my cancer journey.

Amber - you're awesome and thank you so much for everything!!! You're so good at this job and relating to people no matter what their current struggles may be! You met me where I was at and were able to uplift me in such impactful and positive ways!!

I cannot say thank you enough!!!" Livestrong at the YMCA Participant, age 35

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