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Survivorship & Smoothies
By Gregg Lagan
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Cancer Survivorship Offerings through LIVESTRONG at the
YMCA Healthy Living Center

Lymphedema Support Group: first Monday of every other month at 6:30 p.m.

Lymphedema Aquatic Exercise: Tuesdays from 4:30–5:30 p.m.

Healthy Steps, Lebed Method Dance and Movement: Thursdays from 4:30-5:25 p.m.

Healthy Living Coaches: call (515) 645.3350 for information.

learn more. For more information about the LIVESTRONG at
the YMCA survivorship program, visit cancercenter or You may also call the Medical Programs Office
at (515) 645.3350.





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More people are surviving cancer than ever before. Some are considered cured; others live day to day with the disease and go about their lives as normally as possible. In either case, eating right, staying in shape, and maintaining social connections can make all the difference in a cancer survivor’s quality of life.

Mercy Cancer Center places great importance on patients’ quality of life.

LIVESTRONG™ at the YMCA, a collaboration of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the YMCA Healthy Living Center™, and Mercy Cancer Center, is a special program that addresses all aspects of cancer survivorship. Similar programs exist in communities across the United States.

“Cancer is definitely a bump in the road of life. But it can also be a springboard to better living,” says Richard Deming, M.D., medical director of Mercy Cancer Center. “Through physical activity, healthy nutrition, education, and fellowship, patients will find strength and enrichment in the journey.”

Each Wednesday cancer survivors gather at the YMCA Healthy Living Center in Clive for a special lineup that starts with a cancer education session from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. A new topic is featured each week, ranging from the latest in nutritional findings to health care reform, alternative medicine, and more. Speakers from Mercy Medical Center and other area health care providers lead the informative sessions, which encourage group discussion and participation.

“For me, the one-hour educational program every Wednesday night has been a valuable source of information on subjects ranging from nutrition to how to deal with some of the psychological effects of cancer,” says Tom Porter, prostate cancer survivor and active program participant.

Following the education program, many participants head to the locker room to change for the one-hour LIVESTRONG at the YMCA spinning class led by Dr. Deming. Not only is the class energizing and fun, it provides a feeling of camaraderie among participants rarely found in other group exercise classes.

The socializing doesn’t stop there. Class members are
invited to gather again after spin class for a short fellowship time, featuring smoothies prepared by staff at Kitchen Collage.

“Spinning class is not only fun and great exercise, but it’s a real morale booster,” Tom points out. “And, of course, everybody looks forward to fruit smoothies after class, where I’ve made friends that will last forever.

“One of the primary reasons my wife and I chose Dr. Deming and the Mercy Cancer Center for treatment of my cancer was because of their holistic approach to treatment and recovery,” Tom says. “I wanted to use everything available to me to deal with my cancer, and Mercy’s mind, body, and spirit approach just made sense. Because of this all-inclusive focus, I’ve been active in all aspects of the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program.”

The LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program features many other activities for participants, including personalized exercise
programs for patients who have been referred by their physician. YMCA Healthy Living Center medical and fitness professionals work one-on-one with survivors to help improve their
cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. Individuals may work out individually at any time or may join others in the program during regularly scheduled hours each week.

The LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program is free of charge for 12 weeks with a physician referral. Participants can continue the program longer as members of the YMCA Healthy Living Center.
Dr. Deming has been a strong catalyst behind the success
of LIVESTRONG at the YMCA in metro Des Moines. In
fact, many participants attend because Dr. Deming personally invited them to try it out.

Dr. Deming is a strong advocate of the program: “The LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program is here to help patients better understand the cancer journey and enable them to live strong through the physical, emotional, and practical challenges of cancer survivorship.”           




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