Exercise classes for cancer survivors in Oshkosh bring neighbors, families together

Ann Lenz has been a mammography technician for nearly 20 years.  Supporting cancer survivors is a key part of her work.  “When cancer survivors come in for their mammograms, I really want to help put them at ease.  It can be a very stressful moment for them.”

After a family member journeyed with cancer, Ann knew she wanted to something more to help survivors.  So she and her supervisor turned to the Aurora Health Care Foundation for funding.

With donor support, they worked with the local YMCA to host exercise classes for survivors of cancer at Aurora Medical Center Oshkosh.  The first session, which ran January through March, was Zumba.  Some attendees had just completed chemotherapy, some have been cancer free for ten years or more. And they were all there to support each other and get moving!

AUR_78650384We wanted to help them build a network of support for each other and help them get back into something happy and positive,” said Ann.

Ruth Abraham heard about the classes when she came in for her mammogram.  She wanted to try it and share the experience with her daughter, Rachel.  “I am 20 years cancer free,” Ruth shared.  She received treatment for non-hodgkins large cell lymphoma. “Though my daughter was very young during that time, she truly was one of my support staff.”

Rachel remembers doing everything she could to help her mom out, even if it just meant playing quietly while her mom rested. “Now, I try to be a support to get her out there more. This was a fun thing for us to do together because no one here is a pro.  We all look silly doing it together.”

Ann Lenz is looking into continuing the offering for cancer survivors at Aurora Medical Center Oshkosh.  The group wanted to also explore yoga stretching as an option as well for those who are unable to do the cardio of Zumba.

If you are interested in learning more about these classes, contact Ann Lenz at 920-303-8715 or Ann.Lenz@aurora.org.


Looking for an opportunity to get moving? 

Lombardi Cancer Walk Tackle Cancer2Register NOW for the Lombardi Walks for Cancer in Oshkosh, Walworth County, and Milwaukee.  Join survivors and supporters to benefit the Vince Lombardi Cancer Centers. 

This entry was posted in Living Well: Survivorship Stories and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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