Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Strength for Life would like to thank and the World Gym Wantagh for organizing “Cycle for Strength” held 9/24/16 from 9-1 at Mulcahy’s, the third 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 $50,000 was raised by this generous community, and the sponsors of the event. In the past three years, the Wantagh World Gym has held this event and chose Strength for Life as a beneficiary with the total raised over $110,000. Strength for Life relies on our fundraising events to provide these services and World Gym Wantagh relieved a heavy burden during these years.
This year, each of the 92 riders was asked to fundraise $350 for the event and nearly all exceeded their goal. The energy at Mulcahy’s was palpable as the riders entered, claimed their bike, bought raffles and prepared for the experience. Barbara Larrea on center stage led the riders on a fantastic journey combining her heartfelt, inspiring coaching, fabulous sounds and personalized World Gym video. Add in food, libations and raffles galore. 80 baskets and 11 grand prizes. The proceeds from the raffles of $6000 was presented to a World Gym warrior fighting a recurrence but strong, beautiful, confident and riding with the rest.
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 11 accessible locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. Over the past 7 years SFL has reached more than 1,700 patients and survivors. World Gym Wantagh hosts our classes twice a week and we are forever grateful for the beautiful room and welcoming staff.
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 copays of a cancer diagnosis and how it can make it financially difficult for many to work with a personal trainer Strength for Life has tried to eliminate all the barriers – travel, equipment, cost and qualified cancer exercise specialists.
We are truly blessed to have been introduced to Ms. Larrea, World Gym Wantagh and the scores of people she inspires to support our cause, Strength for Life.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Wellness Retreat number 18!!
I cannot believe that we just finished up our 18th Wellness Retreat!! 360 cancer patients and survivors to date have experienced our incredible weekends, all free of charge, thanks to our amazing volunteers and our fundraising efforts! 2017 Wellness Retreat dates coming out soon and look for something new that we will be rolling out….I will keep you in suspense, you will have to check our website and LIKE us on Facebook for what we have in store!:)
Once we finished up breakfast and our go around we went right into an incredible dance/movement/empowerment session with the AMAZING Penni Niles! Wow, what an a great class! What can beat exercising while affirming positive statements! “I AM STRONGER THAN I SEEM!” “I AM BRAVER THAN I THINK!” I AM BLESSED IN ALL I NEED!”…these girls are all of that and more!
Time to cool down a tad and sit to take in Dr. Siobhan Hanlon’s presentation. Always a lot to learn when in her audience! The focus was on how to help yourself heal while best handling our environmental toxins, food sources, and other stresses that plague us. Dr. Siobhan ended her talk with stating the importance of visualization and guided imagery for optimal healing. That last statement became the bridge to our next presenter, Pramilla Venkatesaran, who guided our guests on a remarkable journey of self discovery through a writing workshop. Pricilla’s emphasis was on how your mind, thoughts, and words (both written and spoken) shape your experiences in this lifetime. As she pointed out, be careful of what you say, write, speak, or think, it may very well come to life! To quote Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right”, I think you know where to go with this one!
Moving right along to yoga, taught by the awesome Gina Califano! So nice to get out of the chairs and our minds to move our body while surrounded by the refreshing aroma of essential oils diffusing in the room….ahhhhhhhh, so very powerful and relaxing at the same time! Now it is time for our FAMOUS REIKI and SOUND HEALING CIRCLE! Rosemary Maguinness somehow outdoes herself every single retreat, she ceases to amaze me, seriously, incredible….. We are so grateful for all of the reiki practitioners who spent their Saturday afternoon volunteering at SFL’s Wellness Retreat and for Donna Nesteruk for bringing out all of her crystal bowls, gongs and sound healing tools. So very powerful for all involved, first time for some and a life changing moment for all. The stories shared into the night about their experiences during the circle was inspiring to say the least. Time for a little dinner and a presentation with Certified Feng Shui Consultant Laura Cerrano, owner of Feng Shui Manhattan, who educated us on the Ba-gua map, symbolism, and tradition. We wrote on paper what we wanted to let go and then burned it in epsom salt to release the anger and negative energy and then did an exchange by writing down our positive intentions and holding a red envelope ceremony. We all learned that placing 9 (an auspicious number) oranges in the kitchen or dining area is considered a sign of abundance and good health and that when you find feathers in your path it means spirit is saying “hello” (Jacqui, that one is for you!). Always a wealth of information and so enjoyable to be with Laura!
Laura Cerrano performing the cleansing ceremony
Sunday allowed us to chat, share more, connect, and recap….another successful Retreat complete!
Special thank you to all our volunteers who help make this day happen and to our amazing guests who allowed themselves to take the time from their busy lives to give themselves the self-love and care that they so deserve. All of us at Strength for Life are blessed to have met you....thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey!
Monday, September 19, 2016
Strength for Life, a nonprofit organization providing free exercise classes and wellness retreats for cancer patients, is a beneficiary of the LI 2Day Walk. The LI2DAY was organized to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer and other cancer research, to benefit cancer sufferers, survivors, and their families, and to support organizations that are participating in such efforts.
The LI 2Day which has changed its’ format to 13.1 mile, one day walk was held on June 11th, 2016. The walk takes participants along a scenic route overlooking the Smith Point Beach and then through the local neighborhood. Participants had a wonderful lunch and then head back to Smith Point Bridge in the final procession and celebration of survivors which ends with a closing ceremony.
If you have not had the opportunity to participate or view this awesome event you will be amazed at the emotional celebration of these survivors. Mark your calendars and keep an eye out to become involved, this is an event worth your time and efforts.
Strength for Life is proud to be a beneficiary of the LI2Day walk, we invite supporters to join “TEAM STRENGTH FOR LIFE” and be a part of this inspiring event!
Registration is open
To our friends at LI2Day "Thank you so much for your support of $18,700 this year. As you know this is a tremendous help to our small grass-root nonprofit, and both your faith and support is extraordinary.
We have really been able to grow throughout Long Island with your help. Strength for Life currently holds 11 class a week spanning from the Queens border at Northwell Health out to Southampton Hospital, helping a total of 1700 survivors in our short lifetime. And as you may know, we just hosted our 19th Wellness Retreat on September 19–20, 2016 at the Hyatt Windwatch offering 20 new cancer patients/survivors an overnight escape from their daily responsibilities and the opportunity to learn new tools to renew the mind, body and spirit.
Strength for Life expanded the programs to pediatric cancer patients and their families in 2016, this has been a slow start but it is gaining momentum. Below are the results of our surveys after the class participation. Unbeknownst to us at the start, the psycho/social aspect of these classes exceeds all expectations.
It is a continued pleasure to work with everyone involved in the LI2Day, from day one we felt welcomed, appreciated and supported in everything we attempted to accomplish, and for that we are grateful.
Thank you so very much Ginny Salerno, Kristie Moore and everyone at LI2Day.
Thank you to our walkers 'our team', our volunteers and our supporters.
"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
The night is over and event was another huge success and so much fun. With this moment we want to offer our sincerest thanks for your support of our Recognition Dinner 2016. The honorees, Dr. Siobhan Hanlon and Margaret Hurban, two amazing women who inspire, strengthen and empower others are a true blessing for Strength for Life.
Your support helped Strength for Life net over $10000 towards the mission of providing free exercise classes and wellness weekends to people living with cancer and survivors. Strength for Life is able to impact the lives of cancer survivors with your generous help. Thank you!
As you may know, Strength for Life was formed in memory of Evelyn Knapp, an exercise physiologist, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2005. Evelyn’s vision was to help others with a cancer diagnosis feel their absolute best during and after treatment. Strength for Life’s mission is to make her vision a reality.
We are helping 100 survivors weekly in our 11 locations, a far cry for our start with one class in a residential basement. Sessions are held, quarterly, at Stony Brook Cancer Center, Winthrop University, Mather Hospital, STARS Rehabilitation, Long Island Cancer Wellness Center (affiliate of Good Samaritan Hospital), Southampton Hospital, Monter Cancer Center, World Gym Wantagh, Brookhaven Hospital and our newest location Southside Hospital.
Strength for Life is very active with support groups throughout Long Island; we are on the advisory committee for the Suffolk County Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion Coalition; and we have are proud of our ‘5’ star rating on “Great Non Profits” with comments from our clients stating they had a “life changing”, “powerful” and “nurturing” experience. A recent testimonial from our February retreat reads:
“I just came back from a retreat sponsored by Strength for Life, this was the most amazing experience. It was absolutely the best weekend that I have had since my diagnosis 2 years ago. Not only is the staff amazing loving people but the truly amazing brave women that I have met there. It was very well organized and went without any problems whatsoever. I came home from this retreat feeling happy, positive and empowered. It gave me a sense of wellbeing, reignited that fight inside me and also truly made me realize that we are not alone in this battle. I also attend the weekly exercise classes given by Strength for Life which I look forward to as well, not only has it inspired me to get out there and exercise more, but I also met such amazing, loving people as a result. This organization is a godsend and I am so thankful that my path has led me to them. Love, love, love the staff and the whole concept that they stand for. Thank you Debbie, Jacqui and everyone associated with Strength for Life.”
~ Darlene Homire.
Our mission is to educate survivors and the general public how to use exercise as a complementary therapy to increase the odds of survival, and how exercise as prevention decreases the risk of chronic diseases.
Jacqui Errico & Debbie Hughes
|Honoree Margret Hurban|
|Past Honoree, Margaret McAdorey and Jeanne|
|The Hurban Family|
|Dr. Siobhan (Honoree) with Co-founders, Jacqui and Debbie|
|Our BOD President Teresa Doherty|
|Brendan with the winning horse 'Spirit'|
|Rolling the Dice|
Thank you Briana McCarthy for the beautiful pictures - just a few are shown here.