Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Cycle for Strength, October 3, 2015 raises $37,000 for Strength for Life

Strength for Life would like to thank Barbara Larrea  
and the World Gym Wantagh  for organizing “Cycle for Strength” held 10/03/14 from 9-1 at Mulcahy’s.  Another epic two hour event with participants invited to ride in honor of a cancer warrior. Enormous effort was put forth by Ms. Larrea to organize this event and by the “Team and Family’ of World Gym Wantagh. Over $37,000 was raised by this generous community, and the sponsors of the event.

Each of the 75 riders was asked to fundraise $350 for the event and all exceeded their goal.  The energy at Mulcahy’s was palpable as the riders entered,  claimed their seat, bought raffles and prepared for the experience.  Anthony Musemici and Barbara Larrea took center stage and led the riders on a fantastic journey through NYC in conjunction with their heartfelt and inspiring words.

Add in food and an open bar – what can entice you more to ride for two hours on a gloomy rainy day!

Strength for Life (SFL), is a non-profit dedicated to providing free exercise programs designed to enhance the recovery process of persons with a cancer diagnosis throughout Long Island communities.  Services provided include educating cancer patients, caregivers and the medical community on the benefits of incorporating exercise into the treatment regimen and its effect on reducing the risk of certain cancers and re-occurrences, along with improving bodily functional activities.  Programs are conducted by certified cancer exercise specialists in a group setting and held at accessible locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.  Over the past 7 years SFL has reached more than 1,500 patients and survivors.

Many survivors are initially intimidated to go back into the gym environment, our intent is to empower them to embrace the "new normal" and feel confident enough to go back to their previous activities. Learning of the astronomical co pays of a cancer diagnosis and how it can make it financially difficult for many to work with a personal trainer Strength for Life has found this solution. We have tried to eliminate all the barriers – travel, equipment, cost and qualified cancer exercise specialists.

At World Gym Wantagh – Ann Handy offers a Wellness class on Friday morning which many of our survivors added to their regime – at the low cost of $5 a walk in session. Kudos World Gym Wantagh.

We are truly blessed to have been introduced to Ms. Larrea and the many people she inspires to support our cause, Strength for Life.

**From a rider's post on FB....(this is the family at World Gym Wantagh)

**Super huge THANK YOU to everyone that helped support our ride Saturday for Cycle for Strength.. You all helped me surpass my own personal goal by over 150%!! Total amount raised $37,000.00!!!! And if that's not impressive enough.. Here's a little perspective.. CFS (Cycle for Strength) is not a huge conglomerate organization that's publicized & exposed all over the country... It's a vision driven by 1 person who's heart can NOT be measured!! 1 amazing person that inspires so many to love. To be all the person that they can be.. To give 110%.. To never quit.. To chase their dreams.. To never regret.. Honestly, never in my life have I met anyone like Barbara Larrea. Her time, her dedication, and her attention to every last detail that she devoted in preparing for the CFS was remarkable! Hundreds of people participated & she made sure that she found pictures of every single one of them & included them in her video.. REALLY?? Anyone that knows her knows how lucky they are to be friends with such a beautiful person.. Looking forward to next year already!

Monday, October 5, 2015

16th Wellness Retreat Revisited

Anti Climatic!

That’s what Jac and I always say after a Wellness Retreat -  we work hard prior to one with hopes that everything will fall into place (always does!) and I ,for one, have nervous energy right up to the morning of the weekend (YES - I drive Jacqui crazy leading up to one!).  This retreat happen to fall on the same day as a Strength for Life fundraiser that a very good friend was running.  I was a bit torn, I wanted to be at the Met/Yankee game with my family and friends supporting SFL and helping Brian Nealis anyway I possibly could but needed (and WANTED) to be at our 16th Wellness Retreat doing what I love to do:)

The fundraiser was a huge success (no surprise with Brian in charge!), it raised over $3000 for SFL!  Everyone I spoke to said the it was AWESOME, from the bus to the tailgating, right down to the seats!   Great time had by all!  Note to self......NO retreat on August 1, 2016 - the next scheduled Met/Yankee fundraiser (SAVE THE DATE and join the fun!)!!  THANK YOU BRIAN!

Well, even with all the rave reviews, I would not have traded my spot that day for anything.  Jacqui, Teresa and I had the absolute pleasure of meeting 20 of the most amazing, beautiful women.  They all brought with them a story that each so openly shared, letting us take a glimpse of their inspiring journey and inspiring us while doing so. 

Our day started with Dr. Mike Gruttadauria of NY Health Solutions (check him out www.nyhealthsolutions).  This was Dr. Mike’s first speaking engagement for Strength for Life and boy did he NAIL it!  Dr. Mike’s talk was eye opening for all of us and was presented with such simplicity that even a crash course on methylation was  easily understood!  He offered a different take on healthcare and healing (which is right on!) and invaluable information for our guests to absorb.  It is obvious that he is as passionate as we are and clearly he is on an important path.  We are so grateful for his time, hopefully he will stick to us like marshmallows on potatoes (ahhh, you have to come to his lecture to get that one!).  Looking forward to future seminars with Dr. Mike!

Next everyone got moving to ZUMBA with the one and only Penni Niles.  It was so good having her back and our guests certainly had a great time moving, grooving and feeling!  Penni is beautiful inside and out - she has given so much of herself to SFL not only at our retreats but at our fundraisers too.  Thank you Penni!!  If you are in the area look her up at one of her classes, she also teaches yoga!  Connect with her on FB- Penni Niles.

Now it was time to settle in a bit, onto yoga with the young yet very wise Laura Binder.  Laura knows how to get every level feeling like they are seasoned yogis!  Not only do our guest experience healing through bodywork but her gentle guidance also taps into their emotional and spiritual side.  She is getting married in a few weeks (on Halloween!) and made time for us-she is the best!  Thank you Laura - you can find her on FB as well, Laura Binder.

Finally - LUNCH! Bonding and more sharing, absolutely wonderful!  Right after lunch we did Art Therapy lead by an amazing survivor, Donna Charielle.  We meet Donna many years ago, she gives back so much of her talent and time to many cancer organizations and we are so blessed to have her! Donna’s background as a CSW was cornerstone to our mask making class.  The masks designed where both beautiful and meaningful.  We had a few “ah hah” moments when Donna walked us though discovering what our designs may mean at a deeper level for us - good stuff!  Donna also gave Jacqui and I the BEST GIFT EVER-- the masks she made (see photo!) us had true meaning....the heart on the cheek - represents all the things we do with pure love, the ribbons on the other side - represents all the people we have helped, the jester eye paint - represents the humor that Jac and I do all things with!  LOVE IT! Thank you Donna!

Now it was time to get everyone up and moving with our exercise class!  Oh how we love to work together (heehee) doing what we love to do!!  We hope that everyone realized how simple it is to do some intentional movement using the exercise bands!  Stay committed and you WILL see results!  Better yet come to one of our classes!  Room for everyone! Look us up at StrengthforLifeNY.org for all class locations and times.

After getting everyone up and moving, time to settle down with some reiki and sound healing.  I honestly cannot even describe the energy in the room, powerful to say the least.  Close to 20 practitioners came to volunteer their time and offer healing in the form of reiki - AMAZING!  We are also so grateful to Rosemary Maginniss (reikiheals@optonline.net) for organizing such an incredible group and Donna Nesteruk for the beautiful sound healing provided!  Our guests always come out of this part of our retreat looking extremely relaxed and renewed.  Thank you all for coming to take part, we are so very grateful!

We couldn’t believe it, but dinner time was here-great food and great connections being made.  

After eating, Dr. Siobhan Hanlon (contact her at drsiobhannd@gmail.com), was up:) Dr. Siobhan is a Naturopathic Doctor, what is that you ask? A licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician also studies clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling. A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician, unfortunately NY does not recognize ND’s as licensed doctors, hopefully in the near future they will.  Her presentation paralleled Dr. Mikes so it was a great reinforcement to all that was learned earlier.  The best part is that she PREFERS Q & A vs. straight lecturing and our guests certainly picked her bright brain!  It was a great way to complete the night and we are so blessed to have Dr. Siobhan as an active integral part of SFL!  Thank you Dr. Siobhan!!

After a good night’s rest, Jacqui met the group for breakfast and a nature walk.  Sounds very zen, but ended up being a 3 mile trek through hilly terrain!  These gals were troopers to say the least!  
We truly hope that everyone learned at least one new thing during the weekend, it is our mission to open eyes, hearts and minds so we may empower, strengthen and inspire you on your journey....after all that is what you do for us! 

Many blessings xoxoxo
Deb & Jac

From Jacqui...
I need to share this story and I hope I can give it the justice it deserves. One of the new survivors that attended the last retreat joined my class tonight, and after class she told me that during the retreat she experienced something that she had never felt before. She went on to say that at the Reiki session she was quite calm and in a state, when the practitioners hands were close to her head and shoulders she was not aware but as soon as the hands were held by her hips she felt an enormous flow of heat. This woman has ovarian cancer which the Reiki practitioner did not know but focused her hands and healing there. She went on to say that she told her husband about this sense of calm she experienced since that day. She slept better for the next few nights.
She explained that she is ‘in a holding’ pattern with her disease – the doctors tell her she has to wait and see, and that is both frustrating and discouraging. She said they bring you to the end of the cliff and you can either jump or fly ----- the session of Reiki gave her the wings to fly. She has been given a sense of peace and is so grateful for the gift from our Reiki practitioner.
I had chills, I hope that you get a sense of what she shared with me. If she does write this – I will share her own story…but until then – thank you Rosemary Maginniss and all the beautiful Reiki and Sound Healing practitioners.
God Bless YOU!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Zumbathon Tomorrow Night October 1st, Miller Avenue School, Shoreham

Zumbathon to benefit 

Strength for Life 


The Thomas Cutinella Memorial Scholarship Fund

Thursday October 1st, 2015

Miller Avenue School, Shoreham
6:30- 8:30 pm


Revlon LOVE IS ON Million Dollar Challenge Week Two

We're in our second week of the Revlon LOVE IS ON Million Dollar Challenge and we're excited to let you know about another opportunity to win an extra $5,000 for our cause.
Here's how you can help...
For every 10 donations we get between September 29th and October 6th, we'll get an entry to win a $5,000 donation to our cause. And, there will be five winners.
The extra money would mean so, so much to our cause. So please, Click https://www.crowdrise.com/strengthforlife-revlon and give what you can. Remember, this one is all about the quantity of donations so the more times you donate, the better.
If you have any questions, please Email CrowdRise and they'll be ready to dig in.
Thanks so, so much for all your support.
Strength for Life

Read why this is important to us....


I don't even know how to begin to say .....thank you .... 
My amazing journey with Strength For Life began with a newspaper article given to me by a friend. I took that info to my social worker and from there it was up to me 
to get actively involved in my healing . 

And I did.... 
Monday nights at Winthrop are fun 
Jacqui, you make me , us feel alive and loved through exercise . Thank you ! 
When I found out Strength For Life gives us a weekend of healing 
I couldn't believe it . 

I still can't believe it. 

What a beautiful ,kind , educational fun, amazing , active weekend I had . 
Not only did you , Debbie and Theresa exercise my body but also my mind . 
We had guest speakers that gave a food for thought , more like a feast ! 
We zumba'd ,had yoga and had the most enlightened reki experience. 
Thank you ! 

Since breast cancer I do my best to find the silver lining in life . Strength for life has been one of those big silver linings . 

With Gratitude, 
Catherine B.

To all those amazing ,strong women I met on the September 2015 weekend 
I am sending positive energy to your journey of healing . 

Monday, September 21, 2015

We are in it - The Revlon Challenge!

Visit our page:

Revlon’s mission is to spread LOVE. With the Revlon LOVE IS ON Million Dollar Challenge, it is our goal to inspire compassion and ignite the spirit of giving to important women’s health causes. 

The Revlon LOVE IS ON Million Dollar Challenge is an online fundraising competition created to help charities, dedicated to leading women’s health issues, raise as much money as possible over the course of 6 weeks. Throughout the challenge, Revlon will be donating $1.4 million to various organizations.

The organization that raises the most donations for their cause, between September 21st at 12pm ET and October 29th at 1:59:59pm ET, will win an additional ONE MILLION DOLLAR donation from Revlon for their cause. The runner-up will receive $250,000 and there will also be weekly bonus challenges totaling up to an additional $150,000. 

Revlon LOVE IS ON Million Dollar Challenge Prizing:
Grand Prize Donation: $1,000,000
Second Prize Donation: $250,000

Bonus Challenges Total Donation Amount: $150,000 (over the course of 5 challenges)eat. We said that twice on purpose. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

2nd Annual Zumbathon Thursday October 1st, 2015

2nd Annual Zumbathon

Thursday October 1st, 2015

Miller Avenue School, Shoreham

6:30- 8:30 pm


Sharing proceeds

 The Thomas Cutinella Memorial Scholarship Fund

 and Strength for Life

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Subway Series at Citi Field on September 19!!

Another FUN way to support Strength for Life's Free exercise classes and wellness retreats for cancer patients and survivors - join us for a great outing -
Subway Series at Citi Field on September 19!!

The pie keeps getting sweeter....
now with a chance to win playoff tickets and 50/50 raffle

contact Brian Nealis 631-431-2577 bnealis16@gmail.com

~ Ryne Sandberg

Thank you Brian Nealis for running the Subway 

Series event partnering our organizations. 

Strength for Life receives $3,615, going directly to 

the FREE programs provided to cancer survivors