The YMCA of Coastal Georgia will become a provider of the nationally recognized LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program, thanks to an implementation grant from YMCA of the USA, the Y’s national resource office, in partnership with the LIVESTRONG Foundation.
Launching later this year, the 12-week physical activity and well-being initiative helps people affected by cancer reach their holistic health goals. Additionally, programs such as LIVESTRONG at the YMCA are part of the Y’s commitment to help cancer survivors recover in a safe and supportive environment.
LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is an evidence-informed program based on best practices for cancer survivor exercise. The goals of the 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 offered in a supportive, small-group setting.
According to the CDC, nearly 14 million people in the U.S. today are cancer survivors – those living with, through and beyond a cancer diagnosis. Historically, health care providers instructed cancer patients to rest and avoid activity or exertion, but studies now demonstrate the importance of physical activity for cancer survivors.
“Research shows exercise is the simplest way for cancer survivors to reduce fatigue, improve their mood and bounce back more quickly from the debilitating effects of cancer treatment,” said Dr. Ruth Rechis, LIVESTRONG Foundation vice president of programs. “The Y is the perfect collaborator for the program because of its national reach, commitment to meeting the needs of all community members and history of program innovation in support of health and wellness. Through our partnership, we’ve now been able to widely expand the program into more than 300 cities throughout the country to ensure survivors have access.”
The YMCA of Coastal Georgia is one of 10 Ys in the U.S. to receive a 2014 LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Implementation Grant from Y-USA in partnership with the LIVESTRONG Foundation. This grant will help with the initial program training and implementation while the local YMCA will be responsible for raising the balance of funds required to sustain these efforts and offer the 12-week exercise program free of charge to survivors.
“We are honored to bring LIVESTRONG at the YMCA to the greater Savannah area and share the passion of the LIVESTRONG Foundation for inspiring and empowering people affected by cancer. We look forward to working together to make a difference in the lives of cancer survivors and their families,” said Joel Smoker, chief operating officer, YMCA of Coastal Georgia. ”Additionally, as the leading community-based network committed to improving the nation’s health, offering programs like LIVESTRONG at the YMCA also enables us to build organizational capacity and infrastructure to help better server cancer survivors.”
LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is made possible by a cooperative agreement between Y-USA and the LIVESTRONG Foundation, which seeks to inspire and empower people affected by cancer. Launched in 2008, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is designed to improve the health and day-to-day quality of life for the country’s growing population of cancer survivors and their families. To date, more than 22,000 cancer survivors have participated in the program nationwide.
In support of LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, all proceeds from the YMCA of Coastal Georgia’s 25th Annual Heart of Savannah 5K will benefit this new program. Additionally, this year’s event will include a 1-mile survivors walk to honor cancer survivors. The race takes place Sept. 20. For more information visit YMCAofcoastalga.org.
About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. Created in 1997, the foundation is known for providing free cancer support services and advocating for policies that improve access to care and quality of life.
Since its inception, the foundation has served 2.5 million people affected by the disease and raised more than $500 million to support cancer survivors. The foundation has been recognized by industry leaders including Charity Navigator, the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau for its excellent governance, high standards and transparency.
For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.