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The Connection thinks 'Pink'

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The Connection's staff poses in pink to show their support for breast cancer awareness. Credits: The Connection for Women and Families
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The Connection for Women and Families in Summit thinks “Pink” during the month of October and year round. Pathways, a program of The Connection, has provided services since 1994 to women with cancer and is committed to empowering women to recognize their strengths and encourages them to make choices that enable them to become their own self-care advocates.

Pathways provides support, education and wellness through a variety of programs for women at all stages of their diagnosis and treatment. Ongoing programs include: breast and gynecological support groups that are open to women at any stage of treatment: newly diagnosed, undergoing treatment or post treatment. The Women’s Cancer Teaching Project, a program that trains breast and gynecological cancer survivors to provide education to physicians, nurses and other health care professionals about the stresses and needs of women with cancer. The end goal is to create a safe and open space where health professionals work closely with cancer patients to create a treatment plan that takes their individual needs into account and help cancer survivors through every aspect of the cancer journey, from initial diagnosis through treatment and follow-up care. Healing Foods for Survivors provides cooking demonstrations designed to give survivors the knowledge and skills to nourish themselves with delicious, cancer fighting whole foods meals and is taught by registered nurse, certified health coach and natural foods educator, Karen Feldman.

In addition to support and education, Pathways has a number of wellness activities including Dragon Boating, Gentle Yoga and Cancer Recovery Fitness. Each program has the special needs of cancer patients in mind. Dragon Boating, an international competitive sport, is uniquely suited to help survivors strengthen and tone upper body muscles impacted by surgeries. Women who participate are able to enjoy the camaraderie of other women who have “been in the same boat.” Gentle Yoga is less rigorous than a normal yoga class. The instructor can suggest positions that are modified to allow participants to enjoy the class despite physical challenges during and after treatment. Cancer Recovery Fitness is an exercise class for women recovering from cancer surgery that increases energy level and endurance, helps strengthen bones and build muscle.

All Pathways programs are available free of charge to female cancer survivors and registration is required. For more information on Pathways or to register for groups and programs, call Michele Visco at 908-273-4242, ext. 154 or visit TheConnectionOnline.org.

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