NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) – After beating rectal cancer, and lung cancer twice, Denise Anderson is still going strong.
“We do cardio,” she said. “Either walk or do the bike and then after that, we work out.”
She’s part of LIVESTRONG at the YMCA of the Fox Cities. It’s a free 12-week program for cancer survivors.
“It includes memberships to the YMCA where we work on building on cardiovascular strength, balance, and flexibility at any stage of their survivorship,” said Linda VanEgeren, LIVESTRONG coordinator.
Each session offers individualized attention and group work.
“You go from individuals that come in that can maybe only do two minutes on the treadmill,” VanEgeren explained. “By mid to end of the 12 weeks of the session, they’re doing 30-plus minutes.”
But it goes beyond physical exercise.
“What the class offers is kind of silently increasing emotional, mental and spiritual growth, as well,” Jim Pahlow said.
It’s something Pahlow knows personally. After being diagnosed with melanoma, he started LIVESTRONG as a participant, then volunteered. now he’s an instructor.
“Now I understand the reason I was diagnosed with cancer was so that I can be in a situation where people look to me as a mentor,” he explained. “Somebody that has been through it and can now help and be an inspiration to people who are going through the class.”
They’re fighters who become friends.
“my doctors saved my life but LIVESTRONG saved my mind, body and spirit,” added Anderson. “Really, it did.”
The LIVESTRONG program is offered at all five YMCA of the Fox Cities locations. For more information, click here.