Sarasota YMCA Selected to Receive LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA Implementation Grant

Initiative designed to improve quality of life for cancer survivors and their families to launch early 2016 in Sarasota

The Sarasota YMCA will become a provider of the nationally recognized LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program thanks to an implementation grant from YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the Y’s national resource office, in partnership with the LIVESTRONG® Foundation. The Frank G. Berlin Sr., Branch YMCA will be launching the program in early 2016. The 12-week physical activity and well-being initiative helps people affected by cancer reach their holistic health goals. Additionally, programs like LIVESTRONG at the YMCA are part of the Y’s overall commitment to help cancer survivors recover in a safe and supportive environment. The Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch YMCA will launch the program in the spring. 

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is an evidence-based program based on best practices for cancer survivor exercise. The goals of the program are to empower adult cancer survivors to improve functional capacity and to increase their quality of life through an organized program of fitness and strength offered in a supportive, small-group setting. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 14 million people in the U.S. today are cancer survivors – those living with, through and beyond a cancer diagnosis. Historically, health care providers instructed cancer patients to rest and avoid activity or exertion, but studies now demonstrate the importance of physical activity for cancer survivors. 

“Research shows exercise is the simplest way for cancer survivors to reduce fatigue, improve their mood and bounce back more quickly from the debilitating effects of cancer treatment,” said Chandini Portteus, President and CEO of the LIVESTRONG® Foundation. “The Y is the perfect collaborator for the program because of its national reach, commitment to meeting the needs of all community members and history of program innovation in support of health and wellness. Through our partnership, we’ve now been able to widely expand the program into more than 450 cities throughout the country to ensure survivors have access.” 

The Sarasota YMCA is one of 21 Ys in the U.S. to receive a 2015 LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Implementation Grant from Y-USA in partnership with the LIVESTRONG® Foundation. This grant will help with the initial program training and implementation while the Sarasota YMCA will be responsible for raising the balance of funds required to sustain these efforts and offer the 12-week exercise program free of charge to survivors. 

“We are honored to bring LIVESTRONG at the YMCA to Sarasota and share the passion of the LIVESTRONG® Foundation for inspiring and empowering people affected by cancer. We look forward to working together to make a difference in the lives of cancer survivors and their families,” said Kurt Stringfellow, President and CEO of the Sarasota YMCA. ”Additionally, as the leading community-based network committed to improving the nation's health, offering programs like LIVESTRONG at the YMCA also enables us to build organizational capacity and infrastructure to help better serve cancer survivors.” 

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is made possible by a cooperative agreement between Y-USA and the LIVESTRONG® Foundation, which seeks to inspire and empower people affected by cancer. Launched in 2008, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is designed to improve the health and day-to-day quality of life for the country’s growing population of cancer survivors and their families. To date, more than 30,000 cancer survivors have participated in the program nationwide.