Boardman YMCA launches cancer support program

Boardman YMCA launches cancer support program

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ten men and women who started out as strangers are now friends.

They are part of the LIVESTRONG program at the YMCA in Boardman. The 12-week program helps them with cardio, flexibility and endurance. Most are in remission, but some are getting chemotherapy.

The goal of the program is to help cancer patients and survivors gain the physical strength to do everyday things and stay healthy. LIVESTRONG and the YMCA partnered up more than a decade ago to start the program, but now it has made its way to Youngstown.

Deborah Ringer and Kathy Jacobs are cancer survivors and workout buddies. Together, they are improving their physical strength.

“We are getting there,” Ringer said.

Loretta Pflug is the LIVESTRONG coach. She had to go through special training to teach the class.

She meets with the group twice a week.

“We start off with small minutes at a time and then we build up those minutes over a course of 12 weeks to a maximum of 20 minutes,” Pflug said.

Monday was week five and Jacobs said she already notices a difference.

“I need something to give me strength and stamina so that I can do things better and it is has given a lot of balance, which is really important,” she said.

Exercise also is helping Ringer, but so is the emotional support.

“I’ve got a better attitude and I got friends that can help me. We can chat through it,” Ringer said.

The program is free and participants do not have to be YMCA members. The Y is taking applications for the program.

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