Live STRONG at the Y

Before she heard the words “You have cancer,” Lisa Browder was very active and healthy. But a stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis in 2016 took quite the toll on her body. After four months of chemotherapy, Lisa says she gained 36 pounds and developed neuropathy in her hands and feet. “Everybody else gets cancer and gets skinny and I got cancer and got fat,” jokes Lisa. Following a double mastectomy, Lisa underwent another surgery to remove lymph nodes. After that, she was driving from Plant City to Moffitt Cancer Center for rehabilitation twice a week. 


Instead of continuing rehab in Tampa for another 16 weeks, Lisa chose to stay closer to home and try LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA. LIVESTRONG is a 12-week, small group program to help adults who have become de-conditioned or chronically fatigued from cancer treatment and/or the disease. At no cost to cancer survivors and their families, the Y offers a safe, supportive environment where participants have the opportunity to improve their functional ability and strengthen their spirit, mind and body.


The Plant City Y allowed Lisa to take the program with her mom, who had already been living with bone cancer for five years. Lisa appreciated how individualized the program is. “We had set goals at the beginning of the program,” explains Lisa. “My goal was to be able to run two miles without stopping. My mom’s goal was just to be able to stand for five minutes.” The pre- and post-assessments were also instrumental. After node dissection surgery, Lisa still doesn’t have full range of motion in her right arm. She is grateful to have the chance to see how much further she was able to reach after LIVESTRONG.


Lisa was also surprised to find a support system within LIVESTRONG and recommends it to all cancer survivors. “There is absolutely nothing to lose,” says Lisa. “Why would you not? You have everything to gain from this program.” To learn more about LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, click here.

Pictured above: Lisa finished LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA last December and continues to regularly attend yoga classes at the Plant City Y.

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