As 2016 was coming to a close, and I was starting to plan my goals for the winter and summer and looking forward to a great summer with family and friends, I received an e-mail newsletter from the Small Stones program at Froedtert Hospital. The publication had information about LiveStrong, a fitness program for cancer survivors at the YMCA. I inquired about it, and here is my great experience.

Jack Henning LiveStrongThe classes are small, and they work with each participant on an individual basis, ranging from balance, to aerobics, to diet and muscle or body toning. The classes are twice a week for 12 weeks, and each lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes. What I liked about it was being with a group of cancer survivors who all have a great attitude. All of us had or have different types of cancer, and all received the individual assistance with the aerobic and muscle toning. The YMCA team was very knowledgeable, and we all had a very positive experience working with them.

Any one who was just been diagnosed with cancer should come and see the great outcomes cancer survivors can have. During this time you and your immediate family get a free YMCA membership, so your loved ones can enjoy the benefits with you. What this means is there are many free classes or activities, including swimming in a heated pool, using the weight room and many other activities.

One class that I enjoy is "Joint Efforts" — or what I call "loose joints in a warm pool." It is very light exercise movements working on balance and upper and lower body coordination. Judy is a very good instructor, and it's a joy to be in her class. As the physicians and their teams do a great job repairing our physical bodies from the affects of cancer, the LiveStrong program is there to help cancer survivors build their physical strength, endurance and self-confidence, all at a pace they are comfortable with.

Since cancer came into my life two years ago, my goal has been to fight it and continue to do (with some adjustments) the dietary and physical activities that I did with family and great friends before the onset of cancer. This LiveStrong program with the YMCA has done a great job in helping me accomplish my goals.

I would like to close with a question: What programs, hobbies or activities are you enjoying?

Have a great summer.


Share Your Thoughts

What programs, hobbies or activities are you enjoying? How have they helped you? Share your comments below.

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About the Author

Jack Henning was born and raised in Milwaukee. Like many youths in the 1960s, he had a paper route and worked part-time while in high school. He has worked in sales for Sears, Bear Automotive and Prudential Insurance Co., and worked with the Milwaukee County Transit System in the distribution of parts. He is currently self-employed and does commercial locksmithing and small engine repair. He has been married for 33 years and has two sons. He had been in good to excellent health until the summer of 2014 when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer that involved other organs. He is working on getting his health and lifestyle back to where it was.

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Beth Dowhen
on June 7, 2018 - 12:24 pm

Thank you for the information! Are these programs exclusive to those who had treatment at Froedtert and is a referral needed? Two years after my treatment ended, I was still feeling a general loss of strength and some effects of radiation fibrosis. I signed up for physical therapy, which helped a great deal, but also was expensive. It's nice to know there are other avenues back to health.

Maria Voermans
on June 7, 2018 - 12:24 pm

Hi Jack! So glad you were able to experience this great program! Have you ever taken advantage of the Empower program as well? Quite similar to Livestrong, the program takes place at a Wisconsin Athletic Club location (it's offered at 3 different locations). You get a membership for 3 months, and 10 weeks of small group personal training with other cancer patients. There is no cost for Froedtert cancer patients to take the program one time. I always tell people "Take both programs-you deserve it!". Peace, Maria