Encore helping women again
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.