The LIVESTRONG Foundation and the Skagit Valley Family YMCA have partnered to offer a FREE 12-week physical activity and wellness program called LIVESTRONG at the YMCA for adults with cancer that are undergoing or have completed active cancer treatment.

Bob Thacker couldn’t do his regular workout routine without shortness of breath, so he went to the Dr. which led to his cancer diagnosis. On the day that Bob got his port out after the news of being in remission, he sat down to talk with YMCA staff to discuss what the LIVESTRONG program meant to him during his cancer battle.

“It felt like something was missing for me when I wasn’t going to the gym anymore. I saw the flyer for LIVESTRONG at the YMCA and thought that this is great…I can go back to the gym.”

The group started out with 10 minutes of cardio exercise (and by the end of the program worked up to 30 minutes), plus instructor-led machine exercises. In addition, they got to try out Tai Chi, yoga, water exercises, hear from a Cancer Care Nurse on “chemo brain” and got a visit from a nutritionist.

“We could encourage each other through Doctor visits and treatment sessions. You’ve been through what they’ve been through. The LIVESTRONG program helps keep you positive. It is a well-rounded program that brings everything into perspective. The key to the success of this program is the participants. We are able to put a group of people together that all share one thing in common, and that’s cancer. They are going through the most difficult time of their life. Other participants they interact with are going through the same stuff and can understand. That part right there is worth a million. Ironically enough, this cancer program is the place where a cancer patient will feel like they don’t have cancer. They will find their new normal.” -Ricardo Gomez, LIVESTRONG Instructor

LIVESTRONG meets Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1pm-2:30pm. Our next session will run April 19-July 7. Registration is required.