June 23, 2010
"Movin' On" is an exercise class for cancer survivors. The women who attend share the same room and the same fight. Barbara Chapman is a 16-year cancer survivor. Carolyn Burgess a 17-year survivor.
The group works on flexibility, endurance and balance, but what you can't see in the stretching and stepping is the emotional therapy at work. Sometimes, camaraderie is the best medicine.
"The ladies in my class, they are very special to me, they are not just ladies you exercise we, you develop a friendship with them," said Chapman.
Each woman says she draws strength from others - their recovery and their triumphs. They also find strength in the class and their instructor, Tracey Hill.
"It just feels great. After a class you're energized, and it just sets a positive tone for the day. And Tracey is just so reliable," said Burgess.
The low-impact aerobics class is held three times a week at Martha Jefferson Hospital and is free to attend. What began as a physical recovery class to help patients strengthen their immune system and reduce the symptoms of cancer treatment, has evolved into a support group on the move.
"Exercise has been shown to really help cancer patients, not only with just getting up and getting moving again, but also reducing fatigue. It's a great class... we talk as much as we move," said instructor Tracey Hill.
The "Movin' On" women will continue stretching and stepping together for many years, as they move on with their cancer treatment as survivors.