Survival Fitness builds strength, community for breast cancer survivors

Updated: Apr. 28, 2021 at 11:22 PM CDT
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NEW ULM, Minn. (KEYC) — In New Ulm, women who are navigating a life changed by breast cancer are creating a community.

At CrossFit on the north side of New Ulm, eight women know all too well what breast cancer does to a body.

“We’re left wrecked,” said Fitness Survivor member Sara Schultz.

For these survivors of chemo, surgery, and stress — their fight continues.

This session: plenty of strength training and work restoring balance. Doctors’ orders for survivors: 7,000-10,000 steps a day.

“We make those recommendations without any landing area,” said Dr. Cori Jordan who created the Survivor Fitness program for her patients to get strength training, yoga, and a support group all in one ultimate safe space, “It’s an opportunity for these women to take the power back from cancer. You can leave your wig at the door! No one’s looking at your bald head. No one’s looking at your surgical differences.”

Dr. Jordan leads the half-hour yoga class every weekend. “They end up being an hour of us sitting here because the impact and the sharing happen after the class is over. It’s almost like a girlfriend’s guide to treatment. They’re in recovery. They can share their stories, their tips of how to get through things” said Dr. Jordan.

Schultz said, “I’m very shy. So, meeting new people is always hard, but actually, a diagnosis of breast cancer secludes you even more so having people that you can connect with and from that community to bond with, it’s just so important. It just means so much to be able to have that.”

Bohne said, “I think they’re doing grand and I just wish them the best of luck and good health for the rest of their days. Things should be rosy. You did the tough part. Now everything should go nice and smooth!”

This group is one month into its pilot program and organizers are already planning for the next group. It’s free for the women to belong to Survival Fitness thanks to a local nonprofit, B The Light.

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