On October 24th at the Berkeley Heights YMCA, the LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program, a 12 week recovery program for cancer survivors, will be offered at the Berkeley Heights YMCA, a branch of the Summit Area YMCA. The program is offered at both the Summit YMCA and Berkeley Heights YMCA branches of the nonprofit organization and focuses on helping cancer survivors regain their total health in mind, spirit and body.
Cancer is a life-changing disease that takes a tremendous physical and emotional toll on those affected. The Y and LIVESTRONG® partnered to create a research-based physical and wellness program in which Summit Area YMCA staff work with participants to achieve their goals. LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA fulfills the important need of supporting the increasing number of cancer survivors who find themselves in the transitional period between completing their cancer treatment and the shift to feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to return to normality. The Summit Area YMCA staff is trained in supportive cancer care, and work with participants in building muscle mass, strength, increasing flexibility, endurance, improving confidence, self-esteem and more.
For Laurie Liming, a LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA participant and beloved teacher in the Berkeley Heights community, cancer had made its way into her life suddenly and unexpectedly. “I was a member of the Berkeley Heights YMCA for a few years before I became sick. My health was not even on my radar, I felt awesome all the time and I had no symptoms. I was diagnosed with Stage 3C Breast Cancer that was metastasized.” she said. After a number of surgeries and battles for her life against cancer, Laurie began her recovery process with the LIVESTRONG® program. “When I started in the LIVESTRONG® program, I was terrified—I knew I was weak and the very first event was to get on the treadmill. I cried the whole time I was on it. My first mile took 44 minutes and now my fastest mile run is 12 minutes. The Y staff was so encouraging, and you have the amazing support of not just the LIVESTRONG program, but the women and men you meet who are going through the same journey as you. We all had cancer, all had our lives turned upside down, and could all make some progress together in a safe place where it’s okay to cry.”
Within the program, Y staff not only help survivors to improve their physical strength, flexibility and endurance, but also connect survivors with each other to create a supportive network of friends and neighbors. “I am a single mother of two boys, and while I was going through surgery and treatments, my son had the free 7th grade membership.” said Liming. “He came all the time, stayed busy, worked out in the fitness center after school, and the Y was a safe haven that helped him through tough times and kept his mind positive and healthy. Now, I get to work out with both my sons and spend even more quality time together. When you’re here at the Y, you’re family. I feel stronger, and both my family and I are so grateful for all the help and encouragement the Y has given us.”
The LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program helps survivors become healthier and happier individuals. Each session lasts for 12 weeks, where participants and their families receive a free Y membership for full access to YMCA facilities, including KidZone childcare services. There are two 75 minute classes each week within a small group setting of 8-10 participants.
Berkeley Heights YMCA:
October 24, Tuesday at 6:30PM
Summit YMCA: September 12, Tuesdays at 1:00PM
Berkeley Heights YMCA, 550 Springfield Avenue, Berkeley Heights, NJ
Summit YMCA, 67 Maple Street, Summit, NJ
More information about the LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program can be found online at: www.thesay.org/livestrong
The Summit Area YMCA is one of area’s leading 501c3 organizations. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need. To strengthen your community and provide others with the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive, make your tax-deductible donation today at www.thesay.org/give