Finding the LIVESTRONG program at the YMCA was literally an answer to countless painful nights of praying for relief for Fran C. After coming to the end of a grueling treatment regimen for advanced stage 2 breast cancer, she had the difficult uphill battle of getting back to feeling like herself again. What she found was the Y, something she called "an extraordinary and tangible miracle."
"I found the program at the Y and immediately applied to join, mainly driven by the fact that I had tried on my own to jump back into my pre-cancer workout, and I realized that I needed safe guidance and a way to manage my expectations of how hard I could push to regain strength, flexibility, and mobility," Fran said.
She had just turned 40 and undergone eight rounds of chemo, along with a double mastectomy and two reconstruction surgeries, among other things. Suffering from excruciating bone pain, insomnia, joint pain, night sweats, and infertility, she had not only lost her hair, but her job, breasts, femininity, and financial stability.
Like a lot of new members who walk into the Y, she was nervous to start the 12-week LIVESTRONG plan. But she soon found there was nothing to be anxious about.
"What they offered was an individualized approach to survival," Fran said. "I met an amazing group of ladies as we celebrated each other's successes and identified with each other's challenges along the recovery road."
She not only regained her confidence, along with a better mental and physical outlook, but she also got married and after being told that conception would be impossible, she and her husband discovered they were pregnant - a honeymoon baby.
"If my own body hadn't been restored, this could never have happened. Stepping into the Y is the cornerstone of my story."