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LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Celebrates Third Graduation Class

Third graduation of the Madison Area YMCA’s LIVESTRONG at the YMCA! Holding yellow roses and certificates, graduates shared inspiring stories of courage, triumph and hope as they celebrated with their coaches, family members and alumni from the prior two LIVESTRONG at the YMCA classes. Pictured L-R: Madison Area YMCA’s LIVESTRONG at the YMCA’s newest graduating class, coaches and staff: Coach Judy Core from Florham Park; Senior Director of Healthy Living Joseph Gonsalves from Edison; LIVESTRONG at the YMCA participants and graduates: Satish Jariwala from Madison; Karen Sutherland from Morristown, Cynthia Lopez-Pettorino from Rockaway, Barbara Southard from Maplewood, Marie Tomasiello from Rockaway; LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Coach Patty Matthaei from Madison and Associate Health & Fitness Director Jennifer Casanova from New Providence. Not pictured are graduates Naoko (Nikki) Banker from Morristown, Rebecca Fastiggi from Madison, Charlene Meany from Florham Park, Andrea Ottaiano from Morris Township and Marilyn (Dee) Shelley from Chatham.

The Madison Area YMCA celebrated the achievements of its third LIVESTRONG at the YMCA graduation class. The program brings those affected by cancer a significant step forward toward sustained healthy living beyond cancer diagnosis and recovery. Sign-ups are going on now for the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA class that will start the week of September 22. LIVESTRONG at the YMCA supports cancer survivors through its no cost initiative that provides opportunities to engage in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person. Survivors are encouraged to come as they are, no matter what stage of wellness they are in. The Madison Area YMCA received a grant to support the implementation of its LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program that began September 2013. The program continues to receive support through donations from charity events such as the Y’s bocce tournament and spinathons at the YMCA. The 12-week, research-based program brings together cancer survivors and YMCA staff trained in cancer care to achieve goals such as building muscle mass and strength; increasing flexibility and endurance; improving confidence and self-esteem; and ultimately practicing a healthy lifestyle, not only as a part of recovery but as a way of life. The program was designed to evolve over several years and set the standard for physical activity and wellness programs for cancer survivors throughout the country. In 2013, this innovative program expanded to more than 145 cities across the nation and has helped more than 13,000 cancer survivors. For more information about the program or to sign up for the September class, please contact Madison Area YMCA Senior Director of Healthy Living Joe Gonsalves at 973-822-9622 ext.2242.

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