Date: August 22, 2019

Both YMCA of Southwest Michigan branches will start a new session of LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA in September. LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA is a free 12-week exercise program and support group for cancer survivors.

The evidence-based program focuses on helping survivors increase strength and energy so they can do the activities they could before going through chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

“Participants work with Y staff trained in supportive cancer care to achieve their goals such as building muscle mass and strength; increasing flexibility and endurance; and improving confidence and self-esteem,” said Monica Norton, Director of Healthy Living at the YMCA of Southwest Michigan.

In addition to physical benefits, LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA focuses on the emotional well-being of survivors and their families by providing a supportive community where people impacted by cancer can connect during treatment and beyond. By focusing on the whole person and not the disease, LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA helps people move beyond cancer in spirit, mind, and body.

“It is an opportunity to hopefully give people their lives back,” said Norton. “We’re trying to help them to get back to feeling like a normal person versus the patient. This program is about health, not about disease.”

LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA will run this fall at both YMCA of Southwest Michigan locations. The Niles-Buchanan YMCA’s program will begin on Monday, September 16 and meet Mondays & Thursdays from 1:00-2:30 p.m. The Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA’s program will begin on Tuesday, September 17 and meet Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12:30-2:00 p.m.

Those interested can contact the program leads at their preferred branch.
Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA: Erica Walsh – (269) 428-9622
Niles-Buchanan YMCA: Charity Schneider – (574) 287-9622

The Y has graduated over 100 survivors from LIVESRONG® at the YMCA since beginning the program in 2014. This program is made possible through donations from Hope Grows, a joint venture between Lakeland Health Foundations and the Y.

For more information, please visit

Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 14:23