Kearney Family YMCA gives strength to cancer survivors

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Many organizations are gearing up for Give Where You Live in Kearney. One organization is celebrating the end of a program that is touching lives of those who have suffered from cancer.

When faced with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer many people may think they will never be able to do certain things again. But the Livestrong program at the Kearney Family YMCA wants to prove those people wrong.

“If you can't do it now, that doesn't mean you won't be able to,” Community Engagement Manager Dillon Nelson said. “If you can't do it that time it doesn't mean you won't ever be able to it just means we are going to strengthen on what you can and work on what you can't.”

The program is for people who currently have or used to have cancer. The group meets twice a week for 12 weeks to workout, try new physical activities, and to be there for each other.

“If someone struggles, they're all struggling because they've been there,” Nelson said. “So they are truly living in the moment because some of those people don't know what's coming next.”

Class instructors say group members typically start off apprehensive, like one person had never swam in their pool before, but now it is their favorite thing to do each week.

Throughout the course many group members find everyday activities they thought were things of their past they are capable of doing again.

“Throughout the day they're like 'it's gotten so much easier', maybe walking to the mailbox to get their mail has gotten easier. It will never be great but it's easier to do,” Livestrong Facilitator Brooke White said.

The staff at the Family YMCA say this class shows what the y is all about fitness, respect, confidence, and growth.

“But you've seen them be more confident. They know they have people with them,” Nelson said. “They know they're not alone. It's removing the whole 'it's me, I can't do anything, i'm not good at anything'. It's we are coming together, we are doing this together.”

The staff says they are blessed to be one of only 25 YMCA's that get to host this program. They are looking forward to January when they can begin helping a new set of people on their journey with cancer.

If you would like to donate to help fund the Livestrong program, you can go to givewhereyoulive.net and search for the Kearney Family YMCA.