Fitness to fight cancer battles
YOUNG cancer patients will be the recipients of a new specialised exercise program to be launched at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital this month.
The pilot program has been developed for patients aged 15 to 27 by Cancer Council WA as a result of a partnership with the team at the WA Youth Cancer Service, a statewide service based at Charles Gairdner.
Cancer Council information and support services director Sandy McKiernan said the program was a good opportunity for young cancer patients based on the success of Cancer Council’s long-running Life Now program.
“We know Life Now exercise programs, which are run by an accredited exercise physiologist and are tailored to the specific needs of each participant, deliver results and benefits for participants,” she said.
“We know young people are more likely to exercise in a group of like-minded and similarly aged individuals rather than joining one of the established classes.
“We also know that exercise is the best way to support recovery from cancer treatment.”
Recent research shows young cancer patients experience a significant disruption to their physical activity levels and quality of life during treatment.
Sam Stacy, a 21year-old from Trigg, was diagnosed with Burkitts lymphoma last year.
He said exercise played a vital role in his recovery from aggressive treatment that led to him losing 14kg as well as the ability to walk for a period of time.
“I’ve already seen how much exercise helps in recovering from cancer treatment both physically and mentally,” he said.
He is now in remission and recovering well.
“I am getting fit and gaining weight,” he said. “I am in the specialist gym once a week, working out at home four times a week, swimming two or three times a week, and run my own small fitness club.”
Places in the program are limited. Call 13 11 20 for more details.
Claire Munsie and Sam Stacy train in the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital gym.