The YMCA, Learn, Grow, Thrive

at the YMCA

Improving the lives of people affected by cancer

Program Details

As a LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA participant, the La Crosse Area Family YMCA engages cancer survivors through an approach that focuses on the whole person. Participants work with trained Y staff to build muscle mass and strength, increase flexibility and endurance, and improve functional ability. In addition to physical benefits, the program is also focused on the emotional well-being of survivors and their families by providing a supportive community environment where people affected by cancer can connect during treatment and beyond.


The twelve week free LIVESTRONG at the YMCA pilot program launched locally at both Y branches  the week of March 7th, 2011.  The La Crosse Area Family YMCA works closely with Mayo Clinic Health Systems and Gundersen Health Systems and both medical facilities refer patients to the program.


"Cancer is life-changing. How strong a person feels in spirit, mind and body directly impacts how he or she lives through and beyond treatment," said YMCA Executive Director Bill Soper. "At the Y, we work to give all people the opportunity to meet their health and wellness goals and are delighted to collaborate with LIVESTRONG Foundation to offer those who have been diagnosed with cancer the support they need to build both emotional and physical strength."


Download the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA brochure


For more information about the local LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Program, contact Cancer Survivorship Coordinator Denise Malone at or


Program Background

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is part of a multi-year collaboration between YMCA of the USA, the national resource office of YMCAs in the U.S., and LIVESTRONG Foundation.  Launched in 2008, the program is designed to improve the health and day-to-day quality of life for the country's growing population of cancer survivors and their families by bringing customized, research-based health and well-being programs into communities across the country.

"Research shows exercise is the simplest way for cancer survivors to reduce fatigue, improve their mood and bounce back from the debilitating effects of cancer treatment more quickly," said Andy Miller, LIVESTRONG Foundation Executive Vice President.  "But there weren't enough programs to help people affected by cancer reach their health and well-being goals, so LIVESTRONG Foundation and YMCA of the USA joined forces to create LIVESTRONG at the YMCA.

The YMCA is the perfect collaborator because of its national reach, commitment to meeting the needs of all community members, and history of program innovation in support of health and wellness."

Currently LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is offered at 115 Ys around the country, with plans to add 30-50 associations annually to broaden the program nationally.

Read more about the history of LIVESTRONG