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Rye YMCA Offers Free Program to Cancer Survivors

RYE, N.Y. - Nothing demonstrates the Rye YMCA's mission to "build spirit, mind and body" better than one of the Y's newest programs titled "Livestrong at the YMCA".

YMCA USA and Livestrong teamed up to form a cost-free program exclusively for cancer survivors. Laura Tiedge, senior director of Healthy Living at the Y, said the Rye is the only YMCA in Westchester participating in the program.

"There is a growing body of evidence that supports the role of physical activity in survivorship," Tiedge said.

Since the program is free to its participants, Tiedge and others must organize fundraising events to off-set the costs. On Saturday, the Y hosted its sixth annual "Swim for Two Great Causes," which raised more than $3,500 for Livestrong.

The 12 week program, which formally kicked off in September, offers both day and night sessions catered towards strengthening both the bodies and minds of cancer survivors. The program is open to all cancer survivors and will begin its second 12 week program in December.

"At the Y we aren't just concerned with the health of our members," Tiedge added, "We're also concerned about the health of the greater community as a whole."

Tiedge said it's important to offer programs that promote physical activity. Tiedge, who runs the Rye YMCA's Livestrong program, categorized it as "some of the most rewarding work of her career."

Since its soft opening over the summer the program has helped roughly 30 survivors. Tiedge estimates that by January 2012 the program will have strengthened the mind, body and will of almost 140 cancer survivors.

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