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Felita Finds Family at the Y after Cancer Diagnosis

August 27, 2019

No one ever believes that it will happen to them. Then one fateful day, on January 4, 2017, Felita Bradford received a diagnosis she could not imagine; she had breast cancer.

Discovering Support

While going through treatments at Methodist Hospital, Bradford saw a flyer about LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. She was immediately interested in participating and reached out to the Y. In the fall of 2018 she completed her first session.

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a free 12-week program offered to adults affected by cancer in a safe, supportive environment. Physical and social activities focus on strengthening the whole person. The group meets twice a week for 90 minutes and focuses on finding their new normal and share stories of their personal journey.

After completing the first program, Felita re-enrolled for a second session because it made her feel mentally and physically better.

Growing Stronger

When Felita started LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, she was unable to chest press more than the lowest weight on the machine and couldn’t use both arms at once. After two sessions was lifting 15 lbs. and could use both arms together.

“I like to push myself,” she said. The program has been “just awesome.”

On days she has class, Felita also does aqua yoga and Enhanced Fit. Having the push to do more has been a blessing.

[caption id="attachment_15096" align="alignright" width="441"]LIVESTRONG at the YMCA changes Felita's life after cancer LIVESTRONG at the YMCA changes Felita's life[/caption]

Difference Maker

When asked what life would be like without LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, Felita says normal activity would have been enough. Having someone monitor her progress and make sure she does the cardio is important. Working and concentrating for one hour makes all the difference and having a group around her going through something similar and doing the same things makes an impact.

“I have another family now.”

Living Her Best Cancer-free Life

After six chemotherapy sessions, 22 radiation treatments and a lumpectomy, Bradford is cancer free.

“All I can do is stay positive,” said Felita, “I’m living my best life.”

For those who have hesitations about the program, she says, “Don’t! It was well worth every second and will give you a sense of family and support." Everyone exercises at their own pace. “It’s special for us. We are all at different levels and facing different challenges.”

She found the support of working together most valuable.

“[LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is] priceless.”

To learn more about LIVESTRONG at the YMCA or find a class today with one simple email.

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