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A Cancer Recovery Program

Cancer is a life-changing disease that takes a tremendous physical and emotional toll on those affected. The Y and LIVESTRONG® have joined together to create LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, a research-based physical activity and well-being program designed to help adult cancer survivors reclaim their total health.

The Summit and Berkeley Heights YMCAs are now offering LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. Our programs are funded wholly through the generosity of our donors, sponsors and through grants from foundations. To date, our Summit YMCA and Berkeley Heights YMCAs have partnered to heal and help more than 100 cancer survivors and their families. Nationwide, this number is 10,000. The program is conducted outside of medical facilities to emphasize that LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is about health, not disease.

  • Free, 12-week Y membership at either the Summit YMCA or Berkeley Heights YMCA
  • Two 75 minute classes each week.
  • Small group setting (6-8 participants).
  • Full access to the YMCA facilities, including KidZone childcare services.
  • Designed for adults who have recently completed their cancer treatment.


Partners in Healing the Whole Person

Participants work with certified instructors and personal trainers to achieve goals such as building muscle mass and strength, increasing flexibility and endurance, and improving confidence and self-esteem.  In addition, the program focuses on the emotional well-being of survivors and their families by providing a supportive “community” where people impacted by cancer can connect during treatment and beyond. By focusing on the whole person and not the disease, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA helps people move beyond cancer in spirit, mind and body.

The goals for participants of the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program are to improve energy levels and self-esteem, build muscle mass and strength, increase flexibility and endurance, improve functional ability to do everyday tasks, reduce the severity of therapy side-effects and prevent unwanted weight changes, and develop an ongoing physical fitness program so participants can continue to practice a healthy lifestyle, not only as a part of recovery, but as a way of life.

The certified instructors and personal trainers at the Y provide a supportive, safe environment for each class and have undergone specialized training in the elements of cancer, post-rehab exercise, nutrition, and supportive cancer care. Advanced registration is required as class size is limited. 

View boxes to the right for more information about LIVESTRONG at the YMCA.


The program has proven to be life-changing for many of the participants.


a 68 year old breast cancer survivor explained, "LIVESTRONG at the YMCA gave me invaluable gifts – hope and a new lease on life.  I was depressed and unfocused before I joined the program.  Being given the opportunity to concentrate on myself and my recovery, and to train to get both physically and mentally stronger has made a huge difference in my life, and my family tells me, in my interactions with others." 


a 28 year old testicular cancer survivor said, “Thanks to the Y, I was able to get on a long-term fitness plan.  The supportive and friendly trainers wanted me to achieve the best that I could for myself and worked hard with me to do that.  I have nothing but praise for LIVESTRONG."

    "I was doom and gloom before I enrolled in the program.  Since then, I’ve bonded with my group and I am happier.  I’ve tried the machines, stretching, and yoga.  I’m trying to do what I can to change the odds” states 72 year old Charlie, a thyroid cancer survivor."

      "I went through extensive chemotherapy and a tibia transplant when I was first diagnosed 7 years ago.  Before cancer, I played college-level soccer and until this program I never thought that working out would be in my future again.  This amazing program at the Berkeley Heights Y helped me accept my "new normal" and convinced me that I could once again be engaged in exercise that was both, effective and enjoyable” shared Christine, a 31 year old bone cancer survivor.

      More Information

      Download LIVESTRONG Brochure


      Lisa McQuilkin
      Wellness Director
      Berkeley Heights YMCA
      550 Springfield Avenue
      908-464-8373 x 2026

      Tu/Th, 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm


      Sue Fieseler
      Member Connector
      Summit YMCA
      67 Maple Street
      908-273-3330 x 1167

      Tu/Th, 12:45 pm - 2:00pm

      LIVESTRONG at the YMCA

      See and hear how LIVESTRONG at the YMCA positively impacts the lives of cancer survivors and their families.

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