The idea of cancer is scary. The diagnosis of cancer is even more scary. Once the treatment is past and the new life begins, it's important to know that you're not alone and the Livestrong Program "unites, inspires and impowers people affected by cancer. Locally, the Muskegon YMCA helps facilitate the Livestrong Program and a recent grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County has made it possible for that program to happen at the Viking Athletic Center in Whitehall, also known as the VAC.
Ashley Brage and Airn Pero from the Muskegon YMCA joined me at the VAC to talk about the program and how it's facilitated. We also talk about the importance of what the program offers by way of the exercise, nutrition and balance of emotion and knowing that the journey doesn't have to be faced alone is the purpose. With the Muskegon YMCA being based "in" the community compared to one static destination, the ability of the outreach and chance to extend it to neighboring places in Muskegon County like the VAC in Whitehall is truly an amazing thing. Partnering organizations build strength and equity among us all and if you've never been in the VAC, here's your chance. New session begin soon, so please contact the Muskegon YMCA today if you are interested to learn more. You'll find them linked below.
It's an expansive facility for athletics. Walking, running, basketball, football, baseball...you name it. If you have kids or grandkids in the White Lake Area, from the first sign of snow till what seems the middle of summer you're there for the games of basketball all weekend. (I speak from many early mornings personal experience). The community uses the walking track above the floor year round and the ability to provide such an expansive and encompassing facility for athletics and even meeting space in a smaller community like Whitehall is a rare find.
Back to Livestrong from the YMCA, from the Y's website - "Livestrong with the YMCA helps cancer survivors by focusing on their health, not the disease. The program offers people affected by cancer a safe, supportive environment to participate in physical exercise classes focused on continuing to improve their physical health twice per week over 12 weeks. Our 75-minute classes include endurance conditioning, strength training, balance, and flexibility exercises.
Livestrong with the YMCA staff have been specifically trained to work with cancer survivors and patients and follow American College of Sport Medicine and American Cancer Society exercise guidelines. Our coaches are exercise experts who can understand survivors unique physical needs and concerns and help address them safely. They’re also relationship builders with the empathy and ability to connect and develop relationships with and among cancer survivors and their families."
If you'd like to participate or know more, please CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE MUSKEGON YMCA ONLINE.