Community Champions: Effingham YMCA Livestrong Program

Community Champions: Effingham YMCA Livestrong Program

EFFINGHAM COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - It is easier to be strong when others are there to help you. The Community Champions with the Effingham County YMCA Livestrong Program are helping each other in the fight against cancer.

There is more than exercise taking place every Monday and Wednesday at the Effingham County YMCA.

“We come in in the mornings and do inspirational talks. We motivate and inspire. We have prayer time if you believe in prayer, which I certainly do believe in prayer,” said Sarahlyn U. Phillips, Effingham YMCA Livestrong, participant.

Sarahlyn Phillips is part of a group that is building belief in themselves - and their recovery - as they confront cancer head-on through the Effingham Y’s Livestrong program.

“It’s a program that focuses on well-being. We focus on fellowship and we focus on fitness,” said Regina Clontz, Effingham YMCA Livestrong, Coach.

The various aspects are equally important to the participants who work out in the gym with four personal trainers for strength - and work together for support.

“It gives me a place to come to be around people who don’t look at you like you’re sick, don’t treat you like you’re sick. They treat you like you’re strong and you have something to contribute,” said Lisa McNew, Effingham YMCA Livestrong, participant.

McNew started the Livestrong Program shortly after her final abdominal surgery from ovarian cancer.

“This is the first time I have been able to move, and with three kids, it’s important to be strong,” she said. “It’s relaxing and it’s mind clearing and filling at the same time. It’s empowering a little bit. Gosh, I feel so much better. My husband told me the other day, ‘babe your legs are strengthening up.’ I see it working back there and I’m just excited. I’m going to wear that sleeveless dress on our anniversary."

While improved fitness is important in the fight against cancer, the WTOC Community Champions at the Livestrong Program are helping participants both inside the gym and out.

“It’s a great program in that you connect with one another. You’re able to share where you are and how you’re feeling, and you’re also working out together, which is a great way to connect."

“They are all fabulous. I love them for very different reasons. They’re all very motivational. I was a little nervous because they’re all tiny and cute and I don’t feel that way, but they’re so sweet and encouraging and just motivational and inspirational. I love every one of them.”

The Livestrong Program is offered for free at all Coastal Empire YMCA’s and is paid for by donations to the Y’s annual fundraising campaign.

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