Health & Wellness

LIVESTRONG at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA® Graduates 32 Cancer Survivors

Joan O'Donnell leads the LIVESTRONG class. Credits: John Mooney
Sheri Cognetti oversees the LIVESTRONG program at FSPY. Credits: John Mooney
Kathy Skolnick is a cancer survivor. Credits: John Mooney

FANWOOD/SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Congratulations to Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA’s recent graduation class of LIVESTRONG at the YMCA®.  This class joins other participants that completed the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA® program this year, making the total number of participants served more than 300 survivors over the past 5 years. 

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA® is a free 12-week physical activity program for cancer survivors offered at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA. It supports cancer survivors and their families through its no-cost program that provides opportunities to engage in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person. 

"Our goal is for participants to regain strength and to form a bond, and to provide emotional support," said instructor Joan O'Donnell. 

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"It got me back into better physical shape during winter months. I also gained the emotional support of a wonderful group of women; it's not a traditional support group," said participant Stacy McAnulty, who still has effects from her cancer treatment. "The staff provided enough attention that it felt like personal training." 

"Even during chemo, I tried to stay positive. People looked at me at a work conference and asked, 'Why are you here?' I am not dead," said Kathy Skolnick. "If any good comes from this is that I can help people."

"There are studies that show that physical activity is an important part of treatment plans," said Sheri Cognetti, who oversees the LIVESTRONG program at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA.

LIVESTRONG's staff is trained in cancer care to achieve goals such as building muscle mass and strength; increasing flexibility and endurance; improving confidence and self-esteem; and practicing a healthy lifestyle, not only as a part of recovery but as a way of life. For more information, contact Sheri Cognetti at or (908) 889-8880.

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For information on membership or programs, or to request a schedule of classes, please call the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA at (908) 889-8880 or visit the Y’s website at  Financial assistance is available for those who qualify. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.

Editor's Note: The Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA is an advertiser of TAPintoSPF. For information about advertising, contact

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