Livestrong open to adult cancer survivors

Published 9:30 am Thursday, February 15, 2018

Rebuild your strength and spirit. Live strong.

The Davie Family YMCA is conducting a 12-week, small group program designed for adult cancer survivors called “Livestrong.”

It starts on March 2 at 6 p.m. and meets twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays, from 6-7:30 p.m. Participants receive a free 12-week family membership to the Y.

“Our goal is to help participants improve energy levels and self esteem, build strength, increase flexibility and endurance and improve ability to perform everyday tasks,” said Luke Harris, Davie Y’s senior engagement director.

The criteria to participate: ask your doctor to complete the Livestrong at the YMCA referral form. Consult your oncologist or a hospital onconlogy specialist before joining; enroll by phone, email or visiting the Y; and commit to attending 80 percent of the classes.

Linda Tarleton took the class as a cancer survivor in 2017 and is pleased with the results. Following is a question and answer session with Tarleton.

How large was the group?

Tarleton: It was a small group of six participants along with some spouses, each having endured unique circumstances. This made me quickly realize that I only thought that I had been through a lot in the hospital. I didn’t know how blessed I was until I heard some of the others’ stories.

Did you enjoy the fellowship with group members?

Tarleton: Absolutely. We laughed a lot, cried some, lifted and encouraged each other, and we listened and spoke about things only cancer survivors encounter that others may not understand.

Which exercise training did you enjoy the most?

Tarleton: I enjoy all types of exercise. I enjoyed the chair stretching and yoga. I was stiff with limited range of motion after my treatment and that helped loosen my joints and improve balance. I also enjoyed the TRX Suspension class. This was new to all of us and a bit intimidating at first. We were all able to participate and were challenged to our individual ability.

Which exercise training do you continue to use?

Tarleton: I use the breathing exercises every day. It is simple, gets oxygen deep in your lungs, and can be done anywhere. I also do some of the chair yoga.

What part of meeting with the nutritionist did you get the most out of? Do you apply the knowledge, do you use the recipes handed out? Do you have a favorite recipe?

Tarleton: I got the most information on the food labels section. The nutrition labels were changing and that offered an understanding of those changes. I have used several of the recipes. I got an Instant Pot so I use it pretty much all the time. I can have a healthy meal on the table really quick.

Do you still have contact with anyone from the group?

Tarleton: Yes, I have been in contact with a couple of people from our group. I think of all the group members and leaders often, and hope everyone is well.

Was having the free 12-week Y membership helpful to you and your family?

Tarleton: Having the 12-week Y membership was great because I could continue my workout progress, stretching, cardiac and weight training. We also had the opportunity to attend other group exercise classes and enjoy the pool.

Did you join the Y after having that free 12-week membership?

Tarleton: I did join the Y after the program to continue my workout.

Do you feel stronger in body, mind and spirit after being part of the Livestrong program at the Davie Family Y?

Tarleton: Yes. Livestrong truly helps heal all aspects of the cancer journey. It is amazing how you can bring a few strangers together from the community with the same struggles in their lives and together they heal and become stronger.

What else would like to share with other cancer survivors who may read this, to encourage them to participate in the Livestrong program?

Tarleton: Cancer is life changing. Physical changes, not being able to do tasks, either from surgery, treatment side effects, or fatigue. Mental changes, will I ever be the same? No, you are forever changed and actually stronger than before your diagnosis. You made it through treatment and won. Spritual changes, examining your life before cancer and seeking guidance. Then you are left with the question of how to regain your energy, strength and flexibility. That’s where Livestrong fits into your wellness journey. Sometimes the first step is the hardest. I encourage you to get up, get out and go. You will be rewarded in ways you can’t imagine. They understand the journey and will help you take the next step in each class to improve and grow.

To learn more or register, contact Teresa Muncus, engagement director of wellness and group exercise,  at 336-751-9622 ext. 6455 or