Making A Difference: LiveStrong program lifts the emotional weight off of cancer patients

CBS 21

A cancer survivor support program is "lifting the weight" off of cancer patients using exercise.

Anyone who has battled cancer knows the disease takes a toll on the body and mind. But it doesn't just leave an impact on the patient.

So, it makes sense that a program at the York YMCA to help get cancer survivors get physically active again is helping the body/mind connection and making a difference for the entire family.

Some of the people at the YMCA gym in York are doing more than burning calories and building muscle, they are improving their bodies in the battle against cancer.

The LiveStrong Program at the YMCA is a free 12-week class that helps cancer survivors return to physical activity after treatment.

But as Angie Brandt, the program coordinator tells CBS21, it is more than strength and cardio workouts.

"We take them through the equipment, strength and cardio equipment. We'll also try out some classes, yoga, swimming, circuit classes with them -- So, kind of try to give them a whole range of things to try out and see what they like," she said.

What breast cancer survivor Bonnie Noll and her husband, Greg, like is that it basically saved her life.

"My mental outlook went down the rubes. I threatened suicide, tried to commit suicide and when I got in here to this program, the LiveStrong program, the support was just unbelievable," Bonnie said.

It was in May that Bonnie found a lump in her left breast. An MRI detected another lump in her right breast.

Bonnie says it was the surgeries and intense 8-week radiation treatments that really hit her like a ton of weights.

She credits her husband's support, as well as, LiveStrong with the emotional uplifting that brought her out of the abyss.

If you would like to support the LiveStrong program at the YMCA, there will be at 6:15 p.m. on Oct. 14 at the Wyndham Garden in York.

The keynote speaker will be Hines Ward. Pittsburgh Steelers fans can meet the standout receiver in a private meet and greet at the event.

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