Desert Foothills Family YMCA Kicks Off ‘Livestrong’ Program

Carol Maxfield, pictured on the left, is a volunteer and a graduate of the first Livestrong program at Desert Foothills Family YMCA. Read her personal journey below.

The Desert Foothills Family YMCA (Y) and the Livestrong® Foundation joined together to create Livestrong at the YMCA, a physical activity and well-being program designed to help adult cancer survivors achieve their holistic health goals.

The research-based program offers people affected by cancer a safe, supportive environment to participate in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person. Participants work with Y staff trained in supportive cancer care to achieve their goals such as building muscle mass and strength; increasing flexibility and endurance; and improving confidence and self-esteem. In addition to physical benefits, Livestrong at the YMCA focuses on the emotional well-being of survivors and their families by providing a supportive community where people impacted by cancer can connect during treatment and beyond. By focusing on the whole person and not the disease, Livestrong at the YMCA helps people move beyond cancer in spirit, mind and body.

Livestrong at the YMCA is a free 12-week small-group fitness program for adult cancer survivors. The program focuses on improving cardiovascular fitness, strength and balance to regain overall health. Classes meet twice a week for 75 minutes. Participants will receive a free Y membership for the session’s duration.

Program Goals:

  • Improve energy levels and self-esteem
  • Build muscle mass and strength
  • Increase flexibility and endurance
  • Improve ability to do everyday tasks
  • Develop an ongoing fitness plan to continue practicing a healthy lifestyle.

Those who are interested in sponsoring the Livestrong at the YMCA program may donate at https://valleyymca.org/donatedffy — $250 supports one participant, $1,000 supports a class of four participants — or contact Allie Avishai, associate executive director Desert Foothills Family YMCA, at allie.avishai@vosymca.org or 602.212.6058. The next program at Desert Foothills Y kicks off March 3.

Carol Maxfield, pictured above, is a volunteer and a graduate of the first Livestrong program at Desert Foothills Family YMCA. Here is her personal journey, in her words:

My name is Carol Maxfield and I am a volunteer at Desert Foothills YMCA. I am here representing the LiveStrong Program for cancer survivors.

Let me ask you a rhetorical question.  How many of you know someone who has cancer?

My guess is that you all do.  Friends, family members, co-workers …. it seems to be everywhere.  I never thought I would be included in the ranks of those who have the disease, but I am, and  I remember September 9, 2016 like it was yesterday, when my husband and I  heard the terrifying words, “you have Stage 4 ovarian cancer.”  How could this happen to me?  In a split second my life as I had always know it, and the future my husband and I had always planned, was forever changed. Of course there were treatments, Dr’s appointments, good days, bad days – it all comes with the diagnosis. 

I don’t share this with you because I want sympathy — I share this with you because 3½ years later I AM standing in front of you today. When I completed my treatments I knew I needed to take back control of my new life. One of the things that has allowed me to do that is the Live Strong Program offered thru the Desert Foothills YMCA. This program believes that our Drs have done their part, it is now up to the survivor to take their life back and start building their new norm with a healthier body and mind.

LiveStrong is a 12-week physical activity program that meets 2 times a week and is designed to get survivors back on their feet after a cancer diagnosis and/or treatment. During the 12 week program, membership to the Desert Foothills YMCA is complementary for the participants. The primary focus is helping our participants to strengthen their bodies through a series of closely monitored exercise routines. They receive encouragement, work-out in a safe environment, and most importantly have FUN.  Accordingly, our program is tailored to each individual’s fitness level, disease state and stage of treatment.  They learn exercises that can be continued in whatever phase their journey presents itself. They have all seen remarkable results in their stamina, strength and the ability to return to doing some of the things that have always made their life fulfilling

The program is blessed to have a certified group fitness trainer and a compassionate facilitator at its helm, Laurie Satter. She has also become one of my best friends. Two other LS graduates are also volunteers for the program and we all help Laurie in any way we can. Each of us is a cancer survivor and has experienced its benefits firsthand and want to give back. For me, it has become a passion to help the program succeed. We have all joined forces to make a difference in someone else’s life and to continue growing the program. 

Our program is not just an exercise regimen. Laurie and I believe the mind is an integral part of recovery. We try to create an environment of trust. We have heard over and over that having a place to come together with other survivors and be able to share, is key. Knowing that you are surrounded by the support and care from others, who intimately know all that you have experienced in ways no one else can understand, has given a voice back to all of us. We ARE a big family.

We are the exercise program with a heart.

Since its inception at Desert Foothills and Laurie took the helm, LiveStrong has graduated 6 classes. Several of those graduates are with us tonight. Feel free to ask them any questions about their own experiences. They are all strong, compassionate and remarkable women and are easily recognized by the t-shirt they are wearing.

Get a Jump on Summer at Free YMCA Family Event

Area families are invited to have fun and gear up for summer at the Desert Foothills YMCA’s (Y) Healthy Kids Day event, Saturday, April 27, 9am–noon. Healthy Kids Day is a national Y initiative to improve the health and well-being of children. During this free event, families can enjoy games and giveaways, as well as discounts on programs like camp, swim and sports and one-day-only membership offers at the Y.

The day’s activities will include water safety demonstrations, Foothills Animal Rescue adoptions, face-painting, a bounce house, a visit from the Phoenix Herpetological Society, Family Fitness Hour at 10am and more.

The Desert Foothills YMCA is a part of the Black Mountain Campus — a partnership with Paradise Valley Community College and the Foothills Community Foundation. This Y opened its doors in October 2009 as a true multi-generational facility, with offerings and services for the entire community — from the youngest member at 3 months and their siblings to adults and active seniors in their 90s. In addition to the health and fitness offerings (including equipment, group fitness classes and personal training), the facility has a heated outdoor pool with zero-depth entry, gender specific and family locker rooms, separate spaces and programs for youth and teens, racquetball courts and a gymnasium. It also offers a dedicated teen center and associated programs, many of which are free to the community, and boasts the largest Teen Leaders Club in the association.

Desert Foothills Family YMCA is located at 34250 North 60th Street in North Scottsdale. For additional information, call 480.596.9622 or visit www.valleyymca.org/desert-foothills.

Join Your Neighbors For Food, Music & Fun

The Town of Carefree, in the spirit of friendship and celebration, will hold its inaugural Community Block Party Saturday, April 7, from 3pm to 7pm. The Block Party will take place in Downtown Carefree along Easy Street and the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion.

Carefree residents, Foothills neighbors, businesses and nonprofits of the Town are all invited to join in on the food, music, activities and fun for all ages. Entrance is free. The cost for a meal ticket is $6 and includes a hamburger, hotdog, chili, various side dishes and one non-alcoholic drink. There will be other items for purchase such as ice cream.

A highlight of the day will be the Town’s first official hot dog eating competition, which is scheduled for 4pm and will feature Nathan’s Famous hot dogs.

“Carefree isn’t a stranger to food eating contests even though this is our first hot dog competition. For the past three years, our pumpkin pie eating contests are heavily attended at the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden Festival. Most people think they can eat a lot but when it comes down to doing it, most eager eaters get sick or withdraw,” shares Director of Marketing, Gina Kaegi. “We thank Nathan’s for their generous hot dog donation that will be featured in the event and look forward to crowning our first Carefree top dog winner with an official trophy and the notoriety that comes with it.”

In addition to the hot dog eating contest, guests can enjoy a dunk tank, Corn Hole Tournament, a beer and wine garden, plus the grilling of hamburgers and hotdogs. The Kiwanis Splash Pad will also be open along with other activities such as free face painting, a music DJ, Zumba, karate, mini putt golf, kid’s lemonade stand by the Desert Foothills YMCA, raffle prizes/baskets and more.

“This will be a good time to reminisce with friends, meet new neighbors and enjoy our downtown business district. We hope this becomes an annual tradition,” said Les Peterson, mayor of Carefree.

Sponsors of the event include 4CMedical Group, Edward Jones, Tyrol Title, Liberty Utilities, Ted Phillip Denton Contemporary Art and Happy Fitness with Patricia. Participating local restaurants include Corrado’s Italiana Cucina, Carefree Coffee Roastery, The Meat Market, Black Mountain Coffee Shop and Café and Venues Café. Nonprofits and partners also benefiting include Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce, Carefree Water Company, Desert Foothills Foodbank, Desert Foothills YMCA and Foothills Caring Corps.

RSVP’s are suggested; send an email to events@carefree.org. Local businesses that want to attend and/or volunteer, should send an email to vicki@carefree.org or call 480.488.3686.

Carefree To Honor Veterans At Annual Community Event

The Town of Carefree will host its ninth annual Veterans Day presentation and musical tribute Saturday, November 11, 3–5 pm, in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, located in the Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy Street, in Downtown Carefree.

The event will feature a mixture of patriotic and military music by Todd Knowles and his Main Event Swing Band. World War II veteran Colonel Blaine Keith, U.S. Marine Corps retired, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Special speakers will include veterans of the armed forces, including World War II veteran, Captain Lew Jenkins, U.S. Army, who will share their experiences from the past. This year the program will include a bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace.” And, by popular request, the finale will once again include the bugle call, “The Last Post,” followed by “taps” on dueling bugles.

Barbara Hatch, founder of Veterans Heritage Project (VHP), will be in attendance with students from Cactus Shadows High School (CSHS) and Sonoran Trails Middle School (STMS), whose VHP chapters are now in the capable hands of two volunteer adviser/teachers: Bret Lineburg (CSHS history teacher), and Shannon Griffith (STMS English teacher). Their exhibit and books will be on display and for sale. Hatch is one of the recent recipients of the Hon Kachina Award for “improving the lives of others in her community.” Veterans Heritage Project students can now be found interviewing in 27 schools in Arizona, as well as one in Hatch’s Illinois hometown and a pilot program in Niceville, Florida. VHP will publish six editions of Since You Asked this year.

The Sonoran Arts League will share information about its Veteran Art Program. The Desert Foothills YMCA will discuss their veteran support programs. The Association of the United States Army will have a representative available to assist any veterans with questions. The Carefree Kiwanis Club will provide light refreshments and coffee from the Carefree Coffee Roastery with assistance from the Black Mountain Foothills Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

All area residents are invited to attend and enjoy the special presentations and join in the opportunity to honor those who have sacrificed for all. For more information, visit www.carefree.org or call 480.488.3686.

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