Cancer Curing Exercise - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cancer Curing Exercise

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Waterloo (KWWL) -- It may sound a little crazy but one local hospital is encouraging cancer patients to exercise while they're getting treatments. The innovative program is the first of its kind in the Midwest.

It's tough to get to the gym when you're feeling good. But one group of women, all breast cancer survivors and many just completing treatment, are hitting the weights. They even exercise during chemotherapy sessions.

"I'm in the room with them," said Timi Brown of Covenant Medical Center. "They're getting chemotherapy and we're doing bands and leg-lift exercises."

Staff at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo came up with this cancer rehabilitation and wellness program. The innovative approach treats patients far beyond medical intervention. They're meeting with a team of health experts from personal trainers to nutritionists--to heal body and mind.

"I can feel the strength coming back," said Joyce Fay, a breast cancer survivor. "My weight's coming back. My muscle tissue is coming back."

In addition to regular workouts, cancer patients get an emotional boost from getting together and fighting the disease on multiple fronts.

"They're still scared," said Brown. "They're still frustrated but we are able to implement these programs, educate them, keep them moving and kind of guide them through treatment."

Dee Sheerer, a breast cancer survivor, says the program has made her a fighter.

"I have noticed the difference in feeling better and I have gained a lot of strength back," said Sheerer.

Physical and emotional strength these women can draw on to keep the disease away.

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