YMCA and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center offer free exercise program for cancer survivors

Research shows benefits of exercise after treatment

SEATTLE — Aug. 4, 2008 — Puget Sound-area cancer survivors have access to a new strength-and-fitness program designed specifically for them thanks to a partnership between the YMCA of Greater Seattle and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The 10-week program, Exercise and Thrive, is available to adults who have completed cancer treatment, regardless of where they were treated.

Exercise and Thrive will help cancer survivors strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and improve endurance while receiving health-and-wellness coaching and support from professional YMCA staff. Studies have shown exercise can improve cancer survivors' quality of life, lessen treatment side effects and help recovery.

The program is supported in part by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which has developed a multi-year partnership with 10 YMCAs nationally, including the YMCA of Greater Seattle, to create wellness programs for cancer survivors. The partnership is a key component of the YMCA's Activate America initiative, which is designed to address the country's growing obesity-related health crisis.

Some participants of Exercise and Thrive are patients of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Survivorship Program, which provides clinical care, patient education and research opportunities to patients who have survived cancer and are not in active cancer treatment or are in long-term therapy. The Survivorship Program also receives support from the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Exercise and Thrive classes will be held at three YMCA locations in the Seattle area: Downtown Seattle YMCA, Meredith Mathews East Madison YMCA (in Seattle's Central District) and Northshore YMCA (in Bothell). Participants must be 21 years of age or older and have medical clearance from their doctor to participate.

For information about the classes contact the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Survivorship Program at (206) 667-2814 or survivor@fhcrc.org.

About the YMCA of Greater Seattle
The YMCA of Greater Seattle is a charitable, non-profit organization serving King and south Snohomish counties since 1876. Reaching more than 191,200 people annually through 12 branches, two resident camps and more than 200 program sites, the YMCA provides a wide range of programs and services in child care, youth development, education, foster care, family support, wellness and outdoor experiences. More information may be found at www.seattleymca.org.

About Activate America®
The YMCA's Activate America initiative is the organization's bold approach to directly address the nation's growing health crisis. Through Activate America, YMCAs nationally are shifting how they focus their work inside and outside the YMCA to engage health seekers: children, youth, adults and families whose successful pursuit of health and well-being in spirit, mind and body requires continuous supportive relationships and environments. Advisers to the YMCA for this effort include professionals from the Harvard School of Public Health, Stanford University School of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Steps to a Healthier US, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Active Living By Design and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. Visit www.ymca.net/activateamerica.

Media Contacts
Linnea Westerlind
YMCA of Greater Seattle

Christi Ball Loso
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
(206) 667-5215

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit www.fhcrc.org.