Cancer Exercise Rehabilitation Program
Launched in 2007, the Cancer Exercise Rehabilitation Program provides clinical exercise and conditioning for cancer patients and survivors to help them gain strength and resilience.
“The primary goals consist of helping individuals build muscle mass, muscle strength and endurance, cardio-respiratory capacity, flexibility, and improve functional ability,” said Wade McDowell, Director of Trinity Health’s Exercise Physiology Department. “Secondary goals include reducing the severity of therapy side eﬀects, preventing unwanted weight changes, and improving quality of sleep, energy levels, mood, body image, and self-esteem.
More than more than 600 patients have benefitted from this program.
“The cancer exercise program was a huge blessing to me. When I first began the program, I was very weak and timid; opening up a jar was a struggle. Russ provided me with support, encouragement, accountability, and just as important, laughter and fun through every session. By the time the 12 weeks were finished, I was much stronger physically and mentally. I would recommend the cancer rehab program to everyone going through treatment." Alexa VonGoltz
Art Therapy for CancerCare Patients
Art therapy is one facet of the Trinity Health CancerCare Center’s survivorship and support group programs, which were created to provide different activities for people with a diagnosis of cancer to cope and reduce pain, anxiety, stress, or depression.
The Trinity CancerCare Art Therapy program is designed for either those who are currently undergoing treatment for cancer or for those whose cancer is in remission. The intent of the experience is to foster healing through visual means and through the act of painting. The Art Therapy groups are led by Roxi Mathis, a local artist. She is a graduate of MSU with BFA in graphic design.
Gentle Yoga for CancerCare Patients
Many oncology patients undergo a rigorous treatment regimen that can affect their overall quality of life once completed. Feelings of overwhelming fatigue and weakness can make even the most routine daily tasks seem impossible, leading to increased stress and anxiety. One of the goals of the Trinity CancerCare Survivorship Program is to help get patients back on their feet and on with their lives following oncology treatment. In keeping with the Trinity Health mission of excelling at meeting the needs of the whole person, representatives from Trinity CancerCare Center’s survivorship program began offering a gentle yoga class in May 2014. This gentle yoga class, led by two certified yoga instructors, was designed specifically with the oncology patient in mind. Staying within the standard aspects of yoga, but with a gentler approach, patients can learn and complete exercises with a focus on reducing stress and improving flexibility, strength, posture, and balance. The response to the class has been very positive. Participants are provided a free yoga mat courtesy of the Trinity Health Foundation. The Foundation also provides stipends for the instructors.
“I have been honored to guide the Survivorship Program gentle yoga class since its inception. The class offers poses to build strength and balance, mindfulness to deal with stress and anxiety and the option to network with others. All of this is without judgment, competition and expectation. Our mantra is listening to our body.” —Nancy Scofield, Yoga Instructor
Writing Through Cancer
This program allows cancer patients a supportive and creative avenue to write about their cancer experience. This experience can include a wide range of emotions. Coming together to journal creates a bond with other cancer patients, offering vital support to the individual’s cancer journey. The classes last five weeks and are under the direction of Conrad Davidson, a cancer survivor and former professor at Minot State University.
Look Good Feel Better
Look Good Feel Better is dedicated to improving the quality of life and self-esteem of people undergoing cancer treatment. The patients who participate in the program receive:
• A detailed description and demonstration of a 12-step skin care and makeup program
• Instruction on options relating to hair loss, including wigs, turbans, and scarves
• Nail care
• Helpful suggestions on clothing and ways to use flattering colors and shapes, as well as ways to camouflage areas of concern during cancer treatment
Medical experts recognize the vital role of cancer support programs such as Look Good Feel Better. Indeed, significant data suggests a strong link between women’s participation in these programs and their rates of recovery.
Look Good Feel Better is non-medical, salon-and-product-neutral program. Volunteers and program participants do not promote any cosmetic product line or manufacturer.
CancerCare Patient Assistance Fund
In addition to providing direct financial support to those battling cancer, the CancerCare Patient Assistance Fund has also been able to provide patients with in-kind gifts such store gift cards, wigs and compression garments. More than 140 patients benefitted from this fund last year.
Two of the patients who received assistance sent us the following notes:
“We would like to thank you each and every one. We are writing this with gladness in our hearts and tears in our eyes. Thank you for providing kindness that we needed. The time and effort you spent helping us was more than we could have asked for. Your financial support has provided much needed stress relief. Especially as you know the battle we are facing at this time. You are such Good Samaritans. Again, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU SO MUCH for being wonderful.” —TD & GG
“Thank you for the gift. It will help in assisting to offset the expenses associated with cancer treatments that are not covered by insurance or Medicare. I am grateful.” —RW
Fuel the Fight
On September 9th, Trinity Health Foundation teamed up with Dakota Square Arco and other businesses to “Fuel the Fight” against cancer. Fuel the Fight supporters stopped by Arco throughout the day to fuel gas tanks and the gas voucher fund. Anyone purchasing eight gallons or more of fuel was registered for a chance to win a year's worth of free gas, courtesy of First International Bank and Trust. The winner of this year's free gas for a year was Stuart Hammer.
This year's event raised over $83,000.
Fuel the Fight helps support the fuel voucher program offered to oncology patients receiving care at Trinity Health CancerCare Center. These vouchers can be utilized at the Dakota Square Arco by patients receiving active oncology related treatment for up to $ 75 in fuel purchases. Patients have access to four $75 vouchers annually for a total assistance of up to $300.
“This voucher program continues to be a fantastic financial assistance opportunity for patients. Many of these patients are traveling daily to the center, and it is wonderful that through events such as Fuel the Fight we can continue to help them with this specific expense.” - Shane Jordan, Director, Trinity CancerCare Center
Tree of Hope
The Tree of Hope contains colored ribbon keychains symbolizing the cancers that are treated at the center. When a patient finishes treatment, a ‘ceremony’ takes place at the tree where the patient may pick out a keychain ribbon in the color that represents their cancer as a keepsake of their treatment experience. The Tree of Hope and the keychain ribbons are made possible through donations to Trinity Health Foundation.