Pool course on again

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Breast can­cer suf­fer­ers are in­vited to dip their toes into a ther­a­peu­tic swim­ming pro­gramme at Kenepuru Hospi­tal next month.

Seven spa­ces are still avail­able on the YWCA’s En­core pro­gramme, open to women who have had mas­tec­tomies or lumpec­tomies.

The 14-strong group will meet to swim, so­cialise and hear nurses, nutri­tion­ists and lin­gerie spe­cial­ists speak.

Gen­tle water ex­er­cises based on bal­let moves plus stretch­ing and med­i­ta­tion make for a re­lax­ing work­out, and mem­bers are given pam­per­ing gifts like hair­dress­ing vouch­ers and make-up, says Porirua En­core co­or­di­na­tor Cathy Tia.

‘‘As a woman if you’re sick or not sick, you’re con­stantly putting oth­ers first. We com­pletely make them feel like they’re queens,’’ Mrs Tia says.

‘‘It’s a free pro­gramme. Don’t be afraid, it’s just women, it’s a safe en­vi­ron­ment, it’s a hu­mor­ous en­vi­ron­ment.’’

It doesn’t mat­ter how long ago mem­bers had can­cer – symp­toms like swollen lymph glands can present 20 years af­ter surgery, Mrs Tia says. ‘‘They can [join] whether they had breast can­cer 50 years ago, or whether they’re eight weeks post-surgery.’’

The ther­a­peu­tic pool at Kenepuru is wheel­chair-ac­ces­si­ble, and the warm water does won­ders for post-surgery bod­ies.

Fun and laugh­ter is a big fea­ture of meet­ings; it’s called En­core be­cause peo­ple want to come back, Mrs Tia says.

‘‘In past pro­grammes life-long friend­ships have been formed.’’

Mrs Tia and Belinda Clark formed the Porirua branch of En­core 18 months ago, and this will be the third eight- week course they have run.

Nei­ther woman has had breast can­cer but Mrs Tia has a back­ground in phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion and nutri­tion, and both are passionate about nur­tur­ing women in their time of need.

‘‘We just see so much growth from th­ese women and get so much joy out of them,’’ Mrs Tia says.

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