En­core help­ing women again

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By ES­THER LAUAKI

A new ex­er­cise pro­gramme looks to pro­vide women re­cov­er­ing from breast can­cer with a ‘‘refuge’’ to re­ha­bil­i­tate, re­lax and re­lease.

The free eight-week En­core pro­gramme, run by the YWCA, be­gins on March 6 at Sum­mer­set Re­tire­ment vil­lage in Aotea.

En­core was launched in New Zealand in 2005 and more than 1000 women have par­tic­i­pated in 100 groups around the coun­try since then.

Pro­gramme co-or­di­na­tor Cathy Tia says there are few or­gan­ised rehabilitation pro­grammes which help women re­cov­er­ing from the dis­ease so En­core is a ‘‘pi­o­neer­ing project in Porirua’’.

‘‘It has been such a suc­cess [else­where] and it’s so im­por­tant for Porirua. If we can show peo­ple the [breast can­cer ser­vices] that are avail­able to women, it means we can get women to say, ‘Well, I haven’t been to get a scan lately, maybe I should go get one.’’’

At­ten­dance on the pro­gramme is strictly by re­fer­ral from a doc­tor, on­col­o­gist or breast sur­geon, and par­tic­i­pants are el­i­gi­ble to visit from eight weeks post surgery.

‘‘It’s to give these women some sort of refuge or so­lace where they can share their ex­pe­ri­ences. It’s pool-based and floor-based so it’s re­ally gen­tle.

‘‘Many of these women have been through surgery, some have been phys­i­cally [scarred], so their move­ment is re­stricted. It’s a very pri­vate place, this is a safe and sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment for them,’’ Mrs Tia says.

Ses­sions con­sist of hy­drother­apy, an op­por­tu­nity to talk to oth­ers, and guest speak­ers in­clud­ing sur­vivors, ther­a­pists, bra fit­ters, beau­ti­cians and lym­phoedema spe­cial­ists.

The first En­core class runs from 3pm till 5pm. Con­tact Mrs Tia on 027 235 406.

Hope floats: Whitby mum Cathy Tia is co-or­di­nat­ing a new wa­ter-based ex­er­cise pro­gramme for breast can­cer sur­vivors to re­ha­bil­i­tate, share sto­ries, re­lax and learn more about liv­ing with their ill­ness.

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