CMHS Partners with Ventura Family YMCA to Provide LIVESTRONG Program to Cancer Survivors

If you or a loved one is a cancer survivor, you are not alone!  There is a supportive community right here in Ventura that has the capacity to help you along the journey of recovering and continuing to live your life to the fullest.

The LIVESTRONG Program at the Ventura Family YMCA is a supportive community that offers cancer survivors a safe environment to participate in physical and social activities designed to strengthen and heal the whole person.  Community Memorial Health System (CMHS) and the Ventura Family YMCA are partnering to provide this program at NO COST to cancer survivors in our community!

Building a healthier community is at the heart of the partnership between CMHS and the Ventura Family YMCA.

As the primary supporter of LIVESTRONG at the Ventura Family YMCA, CMHS is proud to help provide this life-changing program and give survivors the guidance and support they need to help them overcome some of the physical and psychological challenges they encounter during and after cancer treatment.  We understand that cancer survivors worry that their cancer will return; that they aren’t as physically strong as they once were before cancer; that their treatment will have negative side-effects, and much more.  There’s a lot of worrying, so the LIVESTRONG program addresses the emotional impacts as well.

Among the many participants in the LIVESTRONG program is Terri Miller, who credits the program with giving her a much-needed social outlet and helping motivate her to move forward.

The LIVESTRONG program gives cancer survivors a safe environment to participate in physical and social activities designed to help heal the whole person.

“It gave me friends that I could talk to that would help me understand what I was going through mentally, physically, and emotionally.  I have a huge circle of love,” she said.  “It showed me that there was more to life than just going to doctor’s appointments and sitting in my house.  It gave me a reason to get up every day.”

Miller said the program offers a wonderful support group that motivates people to keep going.  “If there was one thing I could say about the LIVESTRONG program, it’s that every single person who has gone through cancer and gone through treatments needs to come through this program,” she said.

The Ventura Family YMCA held five LIVESTRONG sessions in 2017 and is holding more sessions this year thanks to funding from CMHS.  We are proud that the Ventura Family YMCA has the largest LIVESTRONG program in the state of California, with 33 total participants completing the program in 2017.  Sessions are ongoing throughout the year, including the summer months.

Most LIVESTRONG participants are referred through the CMHS Cancer Resource Center, located inside the Coastal Communities Cancer Center on the Community Memorial Hospital campus in Ventura.

Most program participants are referred to the LIVESTRONG program through the CMHS Cancer Resource Center, which offers free programs and services for cancer patients, survivors, and their families.  Community Memorial Health System recognizes that a cancer diagnosis can be devastating, scary, and overwhelming.  The Cancer Resource Center offers a warm, welcoming environment and a dedicated group of caring and specially-trained staff who help patients with resources and guidance on a variety of services specific to their needs.

LIVESTRONG Program Details

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a research-based program offering people affected by cancer a safe, supportive environment to participate in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person.  YMCA staff, trained in supportive cancer care, work with participants to achieve goals such as building muscle mass and strength, increasing flexibility and endurance, and improving confidence and self-esteem.

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA also 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.  Sessions run 12 weeks throughout the year and classes meet twice a week.  Specific program goals include:

Among the goals of the LIVESTRONG program are increasing strength, improving energy levels, and reducing the severity of therapy side effects.
  • Increasing strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility
  • Improving energy levels with the objective of enhancing ability to do everyday tasks
  • Reducing the severity of therapy side effects
  • Developing an ongoing physical fitness program not just for recovery but as a long-term way of life

Upcoming sessions at the Ventura Family YMCA begin August 20th, September 17th, and October 1st.

CLICK HERE for more information about this life-changing program!