Livestrong benefits cancer survivors


Editor’s Note: Reporter Mike Donahey is a certified Livestrong instructor at the Y.

Cancer survivors looking to get back into shape need only search as far as the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA for help.

Livestrong at the YMCA — a free-of-charge, 12-week program which can help survivors regain their balance, flexibility and strength — will kick-off two new sessions Feb. 5.

A daytime session begins at noon, while an evening group at 5:30 p.m.

Both are held at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA’s Horne-Henry Center.

Classes meet twice weekly for apporiximately 90 minutes each.

Y Health and Wellness Coordinator Heidi Draisey of Marshalltown is excited about the 2018 sessions.

“LIvestrong is beneficial, because it allows cancer survivors the opportunity to regain their strength and confidence, while also finding their “new normal, after the challenge of cancer and cancer treatments,” said Draisey. “Unique about this 12-week program is that it is completed in small groups with 8-12 people, and over the course of the sessions, survivors form bonds continuing well after their class wraps up.”

Livestrong is tailored to meet the individual needs of survivors, defined as one undergoing cancer treatments or in recovery.

Classes are conducted by certified Livestrong instructors, two of whom are cancer survivors.

In addition to strength training, participants are given the opportunity to participate in aqua-aerobics, group bicycling, stretching and yoga, among others.

Additionally, a survivor may bring a spouse, partner, significant other or friend for assistance or moral support at no charge.

Draisey said she and fellow Livestrong instructors work to keep in touch with participants once a class ends.

“We love the fact many graduates chose to continue with a Y membership and return to classes they enjoyed during Livestrong,” she said. “We also make a point to stay in touch with our past graduates. We would love to have survivors chose the Y as a part of their personal on-going care plan. We have certified, capable staff here to help before, during and after the program. There are both day and night time classes to accommodate many schedules. Reach out today to register today since class sizes are limited.”

To register, or for more information, contact Draisey at (641) 752-8658, or


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or