"You have cancer"-three words that are often frightening and overwhelming for the individual, family and friends that hear this diagnosis.
For five years, The Gathering Place, a community-based cancer support center, has provided a safe, supportive environment for individuals and families to learn new approaches that help them cope with the physical, emotional and spiritual impact of cancer.
Because people have varied styles of coping and are at different paths on the cancer journey, a wide variety of services are offered such as support groups, an education center that includes a lending library, lectures and workshops, gentle movement classes such as yoga and tai chi, and programs for children. All programs and services at The Gathering Place are provided free of charge.
Moving Forward is one of the newest programs provided at The Gathering Place. Teaming up with next-door neighbor Mind & Body Fitness, a pilot program was launched in the fall of 2004 that combines finding and building emotional balance and physical strength when cancer treatment has ended. The program is for men and women with any type of cancer.
Sue Curtis, one of the program participants, credits Moving Forward with "putting me back into life again in a way that I hadn't been since my diagnosis and treatment." Sue was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 1/2 years ago. Sue talks about always having been a physically active person who hiked, walked, biked and gardened. The cancer diagnosis changed all of that.
However, Sue feels that "after the gentle and safe coaching of the Mind & Body Fitness instructors and the support of The Gathering Place I regained strength and a sense of confidence in my body."
Moving Forward meets twice a week for eight weeks on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30 am until 12 noon. It is for individuals of all fitness levels. The supportive and educational component of the program takes place at The Gathering Place and then the group walks next door to take part in circuit training provided by licensed fitness trainers at Mind & Body Fitness.
To participate in the program individuals should be within a year of completing treatment and will need a written authorization from their physician. The program is provided free of charge to participants but registration is required.
To register for the next session of Moving Forward that begins on March 22, 2005 or to get more information, please contact The Gathering Place at 216.595.9546.
After the gentle and safe coaching of the Mind & Body Fitness instructors and the support of The Gathering Place, I regained strength and a sense of confidence in my body. Sue Curtis
The Gathering Place is a caring community that supports, educates and empowers individuals and families touched by cancer through programs and services provided free of charge.
23300 Commerce Park,
Reprinted with permission of The Cleveland Women's Journal