Muskegon YMCA resumes class that helps cancer survivors reclaim their health

In June, the Muskegon YMCA celebrated five years of helping cancer survivors reclaim their health with the launch of its ninth Livestrong with the YMCA class. 

After a pause in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Y is welcoming the latest class of survivors, who will continue their healing by regaining the strength and endurance lost during their cancer treatments.

“Historically, cancer survivors have been told to ‘take it easy.’ They are told to expect diminished capacity — to simply do less,” says Program Director Kelli DeLong. “But research shows that the more active survivors are, the better chance they have of preserving strength, improving their quality of life, and perhaps even preventing the recurrence of cancer.” 

Benefits of class

Livestrong with the Y provides a place where survivors can improve their strength and physical fitness, diminish the severity of therapy side effects, develop supportive relationships, and improve their quality of life. 

The program not only focuses on physical health, but also emphasizes the emotional well-being of survivors and their families. It provides a supportive environment where those impacted by cancer can connect during treatment and beyond.

Livestrong with the YMCA is a small group-based physical activity program led by specially trained YMCA instructors. Instructors are specially selected to lead the small group program based on their ability to treat the whole person, including mind, body, and spirit. The class lasts 12 weeks and is offered at no charge to survivors.

Class ‘continues the caring’

One past participant said it this way: “When you’re diagnosed, everyone wants to know how you’re doing, you’re wrapped in this cocoon of caring. And then, when you’re finished with treatment, that’s over. Livestrong continues the caring, it gives you something to look forward to. You can do something about it … you can rebuild your life.”

For its ninth class, the Y is partnering with Norton Shores-based Phyt Physique, which has offered to host the program for the next 12 weeks.

If you are interested in learning more about the program or becoming a supporter of Livestrong with the YMCA, contact Kelli DeLong at 231-722-9622, ext. 205, or by email at


Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.