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NWA Mercy Family YMCA Selected to Offer LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA, a Physical Activity and Well-Being Initiative for Cancer Survivors

Initiative is designed to improve quality of life for cancer survivors and their families 

The Northwest Arkansas Mercy Family YMCA, a branch of the Tri-State Family YMCA has been selected to offer LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, a physical activity and well-being initiative that helps people affected by cancer reach their holistic health goals.

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is part of a multi-year collaboration between YMCA of the USA, the national resource office of the Y, and LIVESTRONG. LIVESTRONG is the brand of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, created in 1997 by the cancer survivor and champion cyclist to serve people living with cancer and empower communities to take action. 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 by bringing customized, research-based health and well-being programs into communities across the country. To date, approximately 5,000 cancer survivors have participated in the program nationwide.

“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,”  Andy Miller, LIVESTRONG executive vice president said. “But there weren’t enough programs to help people affected by cancer reach their health and well-being goals, so LIVESTRONG and YMCA of the USA 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 a LIVESTRONG at the YMCA participant, the Mercy YMCA 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.

“Cancer is life-changing. How strong a person feels in spirit, mind and body can directly impact how he or she lives through and beyond treatment,” Ashton Caton, health and wellness director said. “At the Y, we work to give all people the opportunity to meet their health and wellness goals and are delighted to collaborate with LIVESTRONG to offer those who have been diagnosed with cancer the support they need to build both emotional and physical strength.”

At the Mercy Y, the program will be offered as a 12-week, small group pilot program beginning Fall 2012. Registration and a waiting list are now available. The full program begins early 2013.

Currently LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is offered at 61 Y associations around the country, with plans to reach 16-20 additional Y associations by the end of this year as a next step to broader, national dissemination.

For more information contact Ashton Caton, health and wellness director (479) 273-9622.


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