Helping those with blood cancer thrive
An independent research report has shown the Leukaemia Foundation’s free 12-week exercise program, Fit to Thrive, is helping blood cancer patients of all ages cope better with treatment and return to their normal lives more quickly.
The program, only made possible by your support, has challenged the previous theory that rest and relaxation is best for those dealing with a blood cancer diagnosis. Instead it encourages physical activity as a means to gaining pre-diagnosis fitness and well-being.
The health implications of a blood cancer diagnosis and complications from its treatment can be long-lasting and debilitating. Diagnosis rates continue to climb with more than 60,000 Australians now living with a blood cancer or related disorder, and another 35 people diagnosed every day.
Thanks to you, Fit to Thrive has already helped 167 Queenslanders, but there are more people with blood cancer that would benefit from this innovative program. A new evaluation by social market research company IPSOS has shown participants report increased well-being and energy, decreased fatigue and reductions in pain.
In just 12 weeks participants made significant measurable improvements in overall fitness and mental health. Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch said the results prove a personalised exercise program can and should play an important part in helping someone to beat their blood cancer.
“The impact of this program on participants’ fitness and quality of life has been substantial,” he said. “Some time ago we saw exercise education and services for those facing blood cancer were in scant supply. Fit to Thrive helps put Queenslanders back on the path to what life looked like before their diagnosis.
“A special at-home program also encourages them to integrate exercise back into their daily routines to ensure longlasting results.”
Young adult program
The Fit to Thrive program is currently held in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Townsville and Cairns.
A new young adult program supported by Commonwealth Bank Staff Community Fund now offers 15- to 24-year-olds the opportunity to exercise specifically with other patients their age.
Leukaemia Foundation support services coordinators run the program in partnership with the accredited exercise physiology team at Aspire Fitness and Rehabilitation. It’s partly funded by a grant from the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation, but only until June 2017. You can help more people benefit from Fit to Thrive by donating today.