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Kosciusko Community YMCA Selected to Provide LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA Program

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Kosciusko Community YMCA will become a provider of the nationally recognized LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program thanks to an implementation grant from YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the Y’s national resource office, in partnership with the LIVESTRONG® Foundation. Locally, the K21 Health Foundation is also providing a $35,000 grant for the program. Launching in early 2016, the 12-week physical activity and well-being initiative helps people affected by cancer reach their holistic health goals. Additionally, programs like LIVESTRONG at the YMCA are part of the Y’s overall commitment to help cancer survivors recover in a safe and supportive environment.

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is an evidence-based program built on best practices for cancer survivor exercise. The goals of the program are to empower adult cancer survivors to improve functional capacity and to increase their quality of life through an organized program of fitness and strength offered in a supportive, small-group setting.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 14 million people in the U.S. today are cancer survivors – those living with, through and beyond a cancer diagnosis. Historically, health care providers instructed cancer patients to rest and avoid activity or exertion, but studies now demonstrate the importance of physical activity for cancer survivors.

“Research shows exercise is the simplest way for cancer survivors to reduce fatigue, improve their mood and bounce back more quickly from the debilitating effects of cancer treatment,” said Chandini Portteus, President and CEO of the LIVESTRONG® Foundation. “The Y is the perfect collaborator for the program 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. Through our partnership, we’ve now been able to widely expand the program into more than 450 cities throughout the country to ensure survivors have access.”

The Kosciusko Community YMCA is one of 21 Ys in the U.S. to receive a 2015 LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Implementation Grant from Y-USA in partnership with the LIVESTRONG® Foundation. This grant will help with the initial program training and implementation, while funding from the K21 Health Foundation will sustain these efforts and offer the 12-week exercise program free of charge to survivors. The YMCA will also be starting an encouraging and resourceful support group for cancer survivors and their families/caregivers. The support group will meet on the second Monday of each month starting February 8, at 4:30 p.m. in the Parkview Center for Healthy Living. The Support Group is free to anyone that would like to come.

“We are honored to bring LIVESTRONG at the YMCA to Kosciusko Community and share the passion of the LIVESTRONG® Foundation for inspiring and empowering people affected by cancer. We look forward to working together to make a difference in the lives of cancer survivors and their families,” said Stacy Thomas, Director of Healthy Living at Kosciusko Community YMCA. “Additionally, as the leading community-based network committed to improving the nation’s health, offering programs like LIVESTRONG at the YMCA also enables us to build organizational capacity and infrastructure to help better serve cancer survivors. We are so thankful for the K21 Health Foundation and their willingness to support our efforts to help cancer survivors and their families improve their quality of life.”

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is made possible by a cooperative agreement between Y-USA and the LIVESTRONG® Foundation, which seeks to inspire and empower people affected by cancer. Launched in 2008, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA 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. To date, more than 30,000 cancer survivors have participated in the program nationwide.

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About Kosciusko Community YMCA
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net

About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. For 18 years, the Foundation has been a voice for cancer survivors and has directly served more than three million people. LIVESTRONG answers survivors’ questions, tells their stories and helps them live their lives through direct service, advocacy and inventive partnership models. In 2014, the Foundation launched its boldest enterprise yet-the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes at the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. The Institutes will be a pioneering approach to patient-centered cancer care designed by survivors to deliver the best teaching practices and the greatest collaborative research to serve the cancer community.

If anyone you know needs cancer support, please visit LIVESTRONG.org/WeCanHelp. For more information about our programs and services, please visit www.kcymca.org, or contact Stacy Thomas 574-269-9622 X216.