Livestrong at the Y offers physical, mental strength to cancer survivors

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Cancer survivors have a safe place to help them build their strength after what can be just a strenuous journey.

Livestrong at the Y is a free weekly class aiming to improve survivors’ functional capacity and quality of life.

Five-time cancer survivor Maria Angel said before taking this class she could not lift her arms because of her mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery, but now thanks to Livestrong, she is doing that and so much more.

Angel said not only did Livestrong at the Y help her get her strength back, but she gained a sisterhood since she first attended back in 2017.

“It was such a great feeling to know that I was not alone because for so many years I felt alone,” Angel said. “I felt depressed.”

The weekly class allows survivors to actively work on their physical health through Zumba classes, lifting weights, balancing exercises, cardio and more.

“It’s not really set up to be a support group but it lends itself to being a support group because a lot of these people have experienced similar situations, and it bonds people together,” Livestrong instructor Amanda Coyle said.

The 12-week program focuses on improving participants’ energy levels, self-esteem, flexibility, building muscular strength, endurance and much more.

“Livestrong has given me a second chance to do things that I love, I can dance, I can cook and I can come to the gym,” Angel said.

“What I really enjoy is seeing people walk in if they’ve had a bad day or they don’t feel that great and then an hour and 15 minutes later they leave with a smile on their face,” Coyle said.

Angel and Coyle both hope others who need that boost can see this class as a safe place where those affected by the disease can come out stronger than they were before.

There are only two more spaces left in this session but there is still time to sign up and if you miss this one a new session starts in February.

The classes are every Mondays and Thursdays at the Downtown YMCA.

A medical release form an authorized healthcare provider is required to participate.

If you would like to sign up, follow this link.

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