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Category Archives: around the Hamilton community
October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
ywcaencore Stories of Inspiration & Hope
After 24 years of marriage and three boys, my life was turned upside down when I found a lump in my left breast at age 47. This was completely shocking as there was no history of breast cancer in my family.
After taking all the tests and receiving the bad news all I wanted to do was lead a normal life. I continued to work as an administrative assistant during my treatments. I never kept my breast cancer a secret, and found that the more people that knew, the more support I received from family, friends and co-workers. After a few chemo treatments, I was not able to work for a few months because my body was telling me to rest.
Almost immediately, my hair, which according to my husband I have spent a small fortune on in my life, started falling out. During this difficult time in my life, my youngest son, while away on a hockey tournament, shaved the heads of his teammates and coaches. They also wore breast cancer ribbons on their jerseys in support of me.
When I completed all my chemo and radiation treatments, I joined the ywcaencore program and connected with a great group of girls and very special coordinators. I really enjoyed meeting with them each week as we exercised, ate healthy prepared snacks, and, most important, discussed our journey amongst ourselves with some emotional crying and happy moments. You gain so much support by sharing experiences, thoughts and fears with other women fighting the same battle.
I am now a 20-month survivor, and loving life to its fullest…breast cancer has sure changed my outlook on life!
Stay Positive Always,
BE SURE TO CHECK BACK FOR MORE MOVING BREAST CANCER STORIES THROUGHOUT OCTOBER
BIG OR SMALL SAVE THEM ALL – I wear that on a t-shirt and I do not take that message lightly. At age 43, I lost one breast to breast cancer and my drive and passion is to help and empower women who have also suffered this life-altering disease. I am honoured to be an employee of the YWCA Hamilton with their strong commitment to the health and wellness of all women, and ambassadors at reaching out to women with breast cancer. The YWCA Hamilton offers the ywcaencore program, a free after breast cancer exercise program for all women. This program runs three times a year, once a week for eight weeks. The program offers gentle therapeutic exercises on land and in the water to help women build strength and increase flexibility and mobility. The setting is fun and supportive and provides a safe environment for sharing and building lasting friendships. In addition, throughout the eight weeks, women are educated and empowered through relevant discussions and community speakers.
We have been privileged to share in the lives of over 130 women and we honour them this month. They have shown great courage in the face of fear; strength when the body was weary; compassion even in the midst of their own crisis and a spirit that is inspiring beyond words. With these women as inspiration, we are presenting you this month with various stories from women who have been through breast cancer and have been impacted through the ywcaencore program. They share their stories, their hearts and their lessons.
May their messages be heard by women everywhere and may it ignite a fire in you as it has in me, to continue this fight against breast cancer and to never give up.
Anne Marie Collingwood
By: Allaina Mitic Sept. 3/13
Labour Day is the holiday best known for football, family/friends and deep fried food. While some of you may have been diligent in your weight loss efforts, I applaud you – for the rest of us, it’s time for some healthy changes. Here are 4 simple strategies that are effective in straightening out your eating habits.
1.Screen your current intake.
- What are you putting in your mouth? How much of it? When?
- Create a log for one whole day.
- This allows you to visually see the amount of intake you are currently ingesting and will give you a base to start all of your planning.
2.Analyze your intake.
- Sit down with your daily intake log and compare it to the Canada’s Food Guide. (www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide)
- Are you eating too much? Not enough?
- Notice where you have been lacking or over indulging in your diet and create realistic goals.
- Make sure your goals are specific with a timeline. (ex. I will increase my water intake by drinking 8 glasses a day by Friday Sept. 6/13)
- Achieving your planned goal is a great feeling. Sticking with the change and staying motivated will take some effort on your part but you can do it!
There is no better time to start than now. Why let bad habits grow when you can stop now, and form new healthy habits to be proud of. Practicing these 4 simple strategies will help you to keep your eating balanced and ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrients your body needs. Physical activity and a well-balanced diet are key ingredients to a happier and healthier lifestyle.
YWCA Hamilton wants to thank the Millionaire’s Daughter for the generous support of our Encore Program – a uniquely tailored exercise program for breast cancer survivors. The Millionaire’s Daughter raised $900 for the program. We are so grateful to have them as a partner!!! Thank you to Maureen, Pat and the staff at the Millionaire’s Daughter for choosing YWCA as the beneficiary of this quarter’s auction.
A great job by YWCA fitness staff person, Sheri Selway! Way to go Sheri!!
Bike For Mike by Sheri Selway
Sunday May 5 was the 3rd annual “Bike For Mike” fundraiser. All money raised this year is going to buy bikes and equipment (helmets, reflectors) for children at Queen Mary School. The Bike for Mike fund is at the Hamilton Community Foundation. Its goal is to make Hamilton a more cycle-friendly city and put the money raised to purchasing bikes for children. Last year Mike’s Bikes provided 110 bikes, helmets, locks, and lights to children and their families. Thanks to all my supporters, I raised over $600!
It was a beautiful day for a ride. The 45 km ride left Bayfront Park around 9:30 am. I rode with the 20 km group which all ages could easily enjoy. A 5 km ride rode through the historic North End neighbourhood.
The 20 km cyclists followed the Waterfront Trail, continued up Longwood Road and connected to the new trail near the Chedoke Golf Course into West Hamilton. Then we were on road into Dundas where a water/snack station was set up. And a bike repair station, which unfortunately I needed! My chain had started acting up! Unfortunately it couldn’t be fixed. However Freewheel Cycle had just opened and they fixed it up and within a half hour I was on my way with a new part! Thank you Freewheel Cycle!
Back at Bayfront Park, riders were treated to water, fruit and hot pizza which we enjoyed while listening to music. I had such a good time I think I will ride 45 km next year!!!
Photo: Here I am with 2 supporters Sandra and Peggyanne, members of our neighbourhood association, North End Neighbours, who set up an information table.
Hello everyone: We are excited to announce that during the months of May & June we will be piloting a Pilates for Breast Cancer survivors class. Since it is a Pilot Project, we are offering it for these 2 months for FREE!
Anyone is welcome who has experienced breast cancer.
Here are the exciting details:
WHEN: Thursdays at 1:30pm – 2:15pm for May & June
WHERE: YWCA 75 Mac Nab St. S. Hamilton in the STUDIO (on the lower level)
INSTRUCTOR: Robin Mech – an incredible instructor with years of experience as a Pilates Instructor and now with additional training in Pilates for breast cancer survivors
HOW: You do not need to pre-register, just come today or whenever you can start!
If you would like any other details, please contact Robin Mech, Fitness Supervisor, YWCA Mac Nab St. 905-522-9922 ext 138 or Anne Marie Collingwood ywcaencore Coordinator, YWCA Hamilton 905-522-9922 press 8…ext.24
We hope you will take join us in this new exciting opportunity!
After having popped outside to grab an afternoon cup of tea, I thought “what a great day for a hike!” Unfortunately I had to head back in to the office, but that thought reminded me of the great link on the City of Hamilton website that lists all of the hiking trails in Hamilton. So, I thought I’d better share! Check it out:
So, if you can this afternoon, choose one and start walking!!!
Kim Agostino offers advice for those running the Around the Bay 30 k road race on March 24.
thanks to Wayne MacPhail and his handy iPod.
Our fearless leader Robin ran the Chilly Half-Marathon in Burlington today, along with thousands of others, on a fast, flat course along the lakeshore.
and here she is in action: