Cancer Survivorship Program
Donor generosity has made incredible advances in research, detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Now, more than ever you hear inspiring stories of survivorship.
Working in partnership with Horizon Health Network, the Saint John Regional Hospital created Stay Strong a collaborative survivorship program as the cancer journey extends beyond the treatment process for survivors and their loved ones.
Stay Strong has helped hundreds of survivors take control of their bodies and lives once they have completed their cancer treatments. The free 12-week program includes individualized exercise regimens aimed at improving cardiovascular fitness, strength, endurance and flexibility, as well as regularly scheduled workshops to support their transition back to ‘regular’ life after cancer.
Jennifer was a young mother of two small boys and a busy nurse working in Internal Medicine at the Regional when the diagnosis of cancer struck like a bolt from the blue. There was no history of breast cancer in her family and she was healthy and active. “Stay Strong came along at a time when I needed it most mentally - post-treatment. To me, it was like a new beginning, a second chance at health not just for the body but my mind as well. The treatment took care of the malignancy but Stay Strong was the beginning of healing for my soul. I am certain I would not have been able to return to a career I love as well as I felt, without it," says Jennifer.
Gina sees herself as both a coach and a friend. She loves seeing her patients light –up during sessions, and to cheer their progress, or simply lend an ear. “I’ve been an oncology nurse most of my career, and until I came to the Stay Strong Program, I didn’t realize how we weren’t meeting the mental and emotional needs of our patients. This program not only helps them physically, to get their strength back from treatment, but it’s the support. This program becomes their family,” says Gina.
Mr. McDevitt still gets emotional when he recalls the Stay Strong Cancer Survivorship Program. “You can go down some pretty dark rabbit holes if you’re not careful,” he says of the fight with cancer. He threw himself into the Stay Strong program and he began to give himself goals. "In my case, after stay strong I never did get back to the person I was. I took a right turn and became this character who rides 100 kilometers on a bike, runs half marathons, swims and gets to do really cool things with his grandkids. I think I became a better version of myself," shares Peter.
How Your Generosity Helps
Provide stability for the future
Increase patient access to the program
Broaden scope of services
Enhance research and evolution of programming