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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • SARAH SONIS: Livestrong at the YMCA

  • It has been stated that one in two people have been touched by cancer.
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  • It has been stated that one in two people have been touched by cancer. Whether it's a family member, a friend, a co-worker, an acquaintance, or yourself, we can all relate to the emotions that go with being touched by cancer in some shape or form. With this fact, the Neosho Freeman Family YMCA realized the need for a program in our community designed specifically for cancer survivors.
    The Neosho Freeman Family YMCA was chosen in the fall of 2012 to partner with the LIVESTRONG organization to offer a program for cancer survivors. The Y was selected through an online voting process and then began the pilot session for the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program in October 2012.
    LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a free 12-week program for any cancer survivor. This is a small-group program that helps cancer survivors reclaim their health and well-being following a cancer diagnosis. The program participants meet twice a week for 90 minutes with a trained LIVESTRONG at the YMCA instructor. Although meeting in a group setting, the program is designed to be individualized for each participant depending on their goals, interests, or any restrictions they may have.
    The pilot session of the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program was a great success. There were five participants and over the 12-week program, each participant made improvements in one or more of the following; aerobic function, strength and flexibility. Each participant has an initial fitness assessment to determine their fitness level at the beginning of the program, and again the assessment is repeated at the end of the program to assess improvements. Not only is this program designed to help the participant improve in their physical well-being, but also helps them build supportive relationships, and reduce stress, leading to an improved quality of life. Once completing the 12-week program, participants are encouraged to continue their journey to reclaim their health and well-being by becoming YMCA members, if not already. The program participants are also encouraged to go on and become mentors for the new participants just beginning their journey.
    The Neosho Freeman Family YMCA is currently accepting participants for the next session of the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program. If interested, an individual can visit the Neosho Freeman Family YMCA and fill out a contact information sheet, located at our YMCA Welcome Center. For more information on this program please contact Sarah Sonis at the Neosho Freeman Family YMCA 455-9999.
    Sarah Sonis is program director for the Freeman Southwest Family YMCA.

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