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Fitness program for cancer survivors expands

A view inside the Fishers YMCA. (WISH Photo, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A fitness program that helps support life after cancer for survivors is expanding in central Indiana.

Two years after introducing the LIVESTRONG series on the city’s south side, the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis will soon offer the opportunity to the north.

The Baxter YMCA on Shelby Street was the first center in the area to launch the program in 2013.

After completing cancer treatment, patients are referred by doctors to spend three months training in small, supportive groups with specialized trainers. The YMCA has said the focus is on future wellness of the whole person, not the disease.

“Everybody’s cancer journey is a little bit different so everybody comes to us at a different level of fitness,” Mary Overstreet, member involvement director at Baxter YMCA said. “You have to build yourself back up and exercise is a proven venue for making that happen.”

The Jordan YMCA on Westfield Boulevard has announced it will soon join the list of centers certified for the program including the Baxter, Fishers and Hendricks Regional Health YMCA facilities.

“You’d like to get to a place where we didn’t need something like this but the fact that we do makes the YMCA feel great that we’re able to be there and serve something to the community that is so desperately needed,” Overstreet said.

It costs an average of $500 per participant to run LIVESTRONG. The YMCA works through grants and community support to provide the training at no cost to referred patients.