I love working with Karri with the LiveSTRONG program. I have met many amazing and inspiring people through the program! I assist Karri by helping participants with set up of machines with appropriate weight and ensure they use good and safe technique with using machines or performing exercises with bands, free weights, or stretching. I also make myself available to just let them talk about their diagnosis, treatment and healing process, encouraging the participants to talk to each other as it truly is an exercise support group.
My motivation for volunteering in this program is a complex one. I am a physical therapist and I work for St. Joseph Hospital. I went through the STAR program which provided oncology certification to therapists after 20+ hrs of online course work. My first STAR oncology patient was Dot McCaffrey who was a friend and previous patient of mine. I encouraged her to go to the LiveSTRONG program and she did and then volunteered for many years after. We stayed in touch and she had such a positive experience with the Y and the program that I always wanted to volunteer as well but it was hard to find the time. Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After surgery and radiation I realized this was the perfect time to volunteer. I had a cancer patient I was working with who needed some encouragement and I knew would do well so I offered to see if I could volunteer and go as well. Karri was the instructor for the class and we instantly clicked. She is fantastic! I am very proud to be a part of the Y and have been very impressed as I learn of all the wonderful things the Y does in the community.