LIVESTRONG at the YMCA begins in January

Staff Report

The YMCA of Rock River Valley to offer LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, a physical activity and well-being initiative that helps people affected by cancer reach their holistic health goals.

The LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program is available to cancer survivors and their families in the Rockford community, and will be offered starting in January 2012.

“Research shows exercise is the simplest way for cancer survivors to reduce fatigue, improve their mood and bounce back from the debilitating effects of cancer treatment more quickly,” said Andy Miller, LIVESTRONG executive vice president. “But there weren’t enough programs to help people affected by cancer reach their health and well-being goals, so LIVESTRONG and the Y joined forces to create LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. The Y is the perfect collaborator 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.”

As part of LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, the Y engages cancer survivors through an approach that focuses on the whole person. Participants work with trained Y staff to build muscle mass and strength, increase flexibility and endurance, and improve functional ability. In addition to physical benefits, the program is also focused on the emotional well-being of survivors and their families by providing a supportive community environment where people affected by cancer can connect during treatment and beyond.

The YMCA of Rock River Valley was one of 16 Ys to receive a grant to implement the program as a result of the 2011 LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project, an online community voting campaign, bringing the foundation’s overall investment in the survivor care program to $2.3 million.

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is part of a multi-year collaboration between YMCA of the USA, the national resource office for the Y, and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the organization created in 1997 by the cancer survivor and champion cyclist to serve people living with cancer and empower communities to take action. The foundation is now known publicly by its powerful brand — LIVESTRONG — and is a leader in the global movement on behalf of 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, launched in 2008, 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. By the end of 2011, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA will be offered at 86 Ys around the country. To date, approximately 6,000 cancer survivors have participated in the program nationwide.

“We are excited to collaborate with LIVESTRONG to offer those who have been diagnosed with cancer the support they need to build both emotional and physical strength,” said Martha Rolf, COO of YMCA of Rock River Valley. “With a mission centered on balance, the Y strives to be a leading voice on health and well-being for our community by providing resources and guidance so that all people, no matter what their circumstance, can achieve greater health and well-being in spirit, mind and body.”

For more information, contact Martha Rolf at (815) 489-3330 or

From the Jan. 11-17, 2012, issue

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