October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual international health campaign to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. Fortunately, many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. Life-style changes such as staying physically active and limiting alcohol consumption are proven to be effective in lowering your risks. And preventative measures such as self-exams, mammograms and other screenings based on your personal history can lead to early detection and treatment.

Programs such as LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA offer support and guidance to help survivors rebuild and gain strength. This free small group program is designed for adult cancer survivors. LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA fulfills the important need of supporting adult cancer survivors physically, mentally and emotionally to return to their normal life or their "new normal." It meets regularly and is conducted outside of medical facilities to emphasize that LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA is about overall health, not disease.

For Sue Belanger, Certified Personal Trainer – ACE, and Certified Nutrition Specialist at the South Shore YMCA, nutrition and fitness are a way of life. As a breast cancer survivor herself, Sue is acutely aware of the benefits of nutrition and fitness before, during and after treatment as well as dealing with treatment side effects.

“The work I do as a personal trainer is so meaningful to me as a breast cancer survivor because it allows me to support people in a very unique way,” said Belanger. “Everyone knows someone who has been affected in some way by cancer and as a survivor, I feel compelled to give back to those who are fighting the disease, just as I did a few years ago. In my role at the South Shore Y, I’ve had the opportunity to support clients and friends not only physically through personal training, but in many other ways as well. The SSYMCA provides cancer survivors with an extended network of support – a place to turn to find help and encouragement that is unique to those going through the fight against cancer.”

In order to continue to give back to cancer support efforts, Belanger has organized two benefit fitness classes to take place at the SSYMCA’s Emilson Branch this year. The proceeds of these classes, which are open to the public, will be donated to the South Shore Y’s LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA and other Y Medical Wellness Programs.

These two fundraiser classes will be held on Friday Oct. 19 from 1-2:15 p.m. (yoga) and on Friday, Oct. 26 from 6-7 p.m. (body combat) at Laura’s Center for the Arts. A minimum donation of $25 per person is requested to participate. For all those interested in joining either class, please visit ssymca.org or contact the Emilson Branch Welcome Desk at 781-829-8585 to reserve your spot.

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About the South Shore YMCA

The South Shore YMCA is a not-for-profit association of individuals dedicated to improving the quality of life for all through programs that promote healthy spirit, mind, and body. Serving the communities of Quincy, Randolph, Holbrook, Weymouth, Braintree, Milton, Hingham, Hull, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hanover and beyond, the South Shore Y provides the opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive through its services and programs. Financial Assistance is a Y community benefit available to all families in need, applicable to all Y programs and services. To learn more about the South Shore YMCA, visit www.ssymca.org. The South Shore YMCA. The Better You Belongs Here.

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SOUTH:

Active Older Adult Senior Health Fair at the SSYMCA

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, The South Shore YMCA’s Emilson Branch in Hanover will host its 12th annual Active Older Adult Health Fair. The event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the main lobby, is free and open to the public. At the fair, participants will receive the most up-to-date information about our local community’s healthcare options, join in interactive demonstrations and health screenings, and enter to win raffle prizes. Flu shots will also be available on-site, and light refreshments will be served. For more information about the Active Older Adult Health Fair, please contact Kristen Noonan at 781-829-8585 ext. 8300 or e-mail knoonan@ssymca.org.

 

"Seasons of the Leaf" Exhibit, Reception, and Workshops

From Oct. 10 through Nov. 18, The South Shore Natural Science Center will exhibit “Seasons of the Leaf” with artwork by regional artists in the New England Society of Botanical Artists. To learn more, visit southshorenaturalsciencecenter.org or call 781-659-2559.

• Opening Reception: Saturday, Oct. 20 from 4-6 p.m.

• Art Workshop for Young Artists (ages 6-9): Saturday, Oct. 20 from 9-11 a.m.

• Art Workshop for Tweens (ages 10-13): Saturday, Oct. 20 from 1-3 p.m.

• Art Workshop for Teens and Adults: Sunday, Nov. 4 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.