Breast cancer survivors stay fit in basketball program at George Washington U

(Joel Richardson For The Washington Post)
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Basketball is not just a game for Lynn Grodzki, above, and her teammates; it is a metaphor for -- and a pathway to -- survival. As participants in Healing With Basketball, a free monthly clinic for breast cancer survivors, these women build strength, flexibility, confidence and social support vital to their recovery.

"Research shows that continuous, vigorous exercise can reduce breast cancer recurrence by up to 50 percent; however, only two-thirds of survivors engage in the recommended amount of physical activity," says Grodzki, a psychotherapist and founder of the program. "We really do this to give survivors a supportive and fun environment to get active."

Each clinic begins with goal-setting and challenge-sharing, and ends with a flurry of hugs and "great jobs." In between, the women are subject to the challenging drills of personal trainer Andrew Weiss.

A pilot program under evaluation for wider use, Healing With Basketball is run by George Washington University's cancer institute. With support from the Eaglebank Foundation and the GWU Women's Athletic Department, the clinics are offered free to Washington area breast cancer survivors.

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-- Anna Miller

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