Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 10:19:48 AM

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Walking with Survivors

Cancer survivors are often faced with many challenges, both mentally and physically. Many came to Conlkin to celebrate their lives with friends and family by doing the LiveStrong cancer walk which was part of a program that celebrates survivors who have gone through a 12 week exercise program to better their lives. Our Vince Briga has that story.

For many cancer survivors, getting back to living a normal life can be a challenge.

"When i was getting done with chemo, I said to my wife, 'I will never get my stamina back,' and then I heard about LiveStrong," said Ed Segal, Cancer Survivor.

That's when Segal was introduced to the 12 week LiveStrong fitness program. Sue Budine, a former cancer survivor and instructor of the class  implements a program helping survivors with their , flexibility, mobility, and mental health.

"I am a cancer survivor, my  daughter is a cancer survivor, as well as my mom. So for me to have all these people here walking and being able to raise the funds to get this program to move on to other members of the community..it means a lot," said Sue Budine, Fitness Instructor for YMCA.

And each survivor is different. Budine says one constant in the class is positivity and a group of encouraging members.
"Watching some of the members that we've had struggle and some of their stories are just amazing, and that makes it very special as well," said Sue Budine.

She has also seen a numerous amount of success stories in her time in the program of which she says makes it all worth it.
"They hooked my up with a person who had the same diagnoses I had but six years earlier. He turned out to be a lawyer in Honolulu Hawaii," said Ed Segal.

And being a cancer survivor, she is aiming to give back in any way possible. She says going to work every day brings back memories of her time in the program.

"Every day I look forward to working with them. It's probably gotten to be the highlight of my day," said Sue Budine.

Cancer survivors who participated in today's walk want fellow survivors to know that with just a little bit of motivation, courage and exercise, their lives can be forever changed for the better.

"It's just getting back and taking that first step which is something very hard to do, but once you've taken that first step, there's a lot more to go, but it's much easier after that first step," said Sue Budine.

The LiveStrong program has seen dozens of survivors come out better than ever, and while it's great to see them leave the program, instructors say it's bittersweet.

"It's awesome and I really can't say more than that. it makes me cry often. When we graduate the class, it's an emotional time," said Sue Budine.

Anyone interested in joining the program is invited to call 770-9622.


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