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July 16, 2010

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July 16, 2010

I found Team Survivor shortly after completing cancer treatment. Surgery had left me with severe lymphedema. I joined a Team Survivor walking group in the hopes that I would find a fitness-oriented support group. Even though the Orange County walking group no longer exists, I'm pleased to report that I still meet for breakfast periodically with two of my former walking buddies....seven years later! I've participated in a fitness class and trained for the Danskin Tri (swimming in the lagoon @ Disney's California Adventure!). I was one of the original group of curious gals who wanted to find out what dragon boating was all about 7 years ago. I've traveled all over the West Coast & Canada with the Los Angeles Pink Dragons. 20 breast cancer survivors, sitting side-by-side, paddling in sync. It doesn't get any better than that! We're always looking for breast cancer survivors to join our team.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My fitness level & self esteem have improved since regaining the active lifestyle, post-treatment. I'm grateful to Team Survivor for offering these fitness opportunities.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

August 25, 2009

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August 25, 2009

Team Survivor California is truly a life-saving organization. I got involved in 1999, about a year after I finished treatment for breast cancer. My husband and I had spent six months training to climb Mt. Whitney, which we did in July of 1999. But after we came down, and got over the excitement of it, my question was "what next?" I wanted to keep up my level of fitness, but had no one to train with. I met the board president of TS at a breast cancer race, and she encouraged me to get involved. We put together a chapter in the San Fernando Valley, and during the next year everyone biked, swam and walked until we were ready to do the Danskin Women's Triathlon in June 2000. It was a blast, and many of us did four more after that -- some in relays, some as swim angels, and some as walk-only participants. As we were training together, members of the Valley group got to be close friends, and we have stayed that way. A couple of our members have died during the past ten years, but most of us have survived and thrived. Although we're not doing any more triathlons these days, we still walk together on Saturday mornings (some folks still bike before the walk) and have breakfast together. Several times a year we gather and celebrate birthdays. We're all thrilled to be alive!

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The commitment and energy of board members and staff, and the ongoing support and participation of members. Everyone is determined to keep active and fit. As a cancer survivor, I greatly appreciate being around lively and energetic women.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 25, 2009

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August 25, 2009

I have seen the lives of many women profoundly changed by their participation in Team Survivor. For some women, being able to gently exercise in a supportive group setting helps them maintain a sense of control during their cancer treatment, and it helps them to manage the side effects of their treatment. Other women become even tremendously active and are surprised to find an athlete within themselves. Team Survivor provides programs that are a great fit for women in any stage of their cancer journey, and remains sensitive that each women's needs are unique.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching people from all different backgrounds and walks of life form deep, supportive bonds as they help each other through their cancer experiences.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated to improving the lives of women with cancer. The Team Survivor staff and volunteers are caring and competent, and consistently responsive to the needs of the Team Survivor participants.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 2, 2009

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August 2, 2009

As a strong believer in mental and physical strength as useful tools in fighting disease, I find the Team Survivor California mission and activities so important to the women in our community battling cancer. And, as a board member, I could not be more proud of the work Team Survivor California has accomplished over the past 10 years since it was launched. With over 20 classes offered each month in the Los Angeles and Orange Counties, Team Survivor directly impacts over 500 women every year. I was especially pleased when we were able to start offering yoga classes to low-income women awaiting treatment or screening at the USC medical center, giving them a much needed break from the stresses of cancer. As a participant in several classes and events, I am always awed and impressed with the women I meet and the stories they share. From the 70 year old who has never exercised a day in her life, but is training for the swimming leg of a triathlon, to the 30 year old who has always been fit but is thrilled to chat with other survivors while walking, sharing experiences about cancer but also life in general. As a survivor, I was never interested in support groups as they seemed to dwell more on the disease and less on surviving. Team Survivor is just the opposite, bringing together survivors who are thriving in spite of cancer.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...making the lives of women with cancer healther and more fun, leading to longer and more enjoyable lives.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...continue to work on fund raising to further expand the benefits available, espeically to low income women dealing with cancer.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

...the people I have met.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

...extremely passionate about the organization and the participants and enjoyable to be around.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

serve so many more women by expanding the number of activities (types and locations) and increasing awareness.

Ways to make it better...

...more women knew about Team Survivor and were able to participate and benefit from the organization.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

...like most non profits, funding is the biggest challenge, thus limiting the reach of the benefits Team Survivor has to offer.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am a huge fan!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 30, 2009

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July 30, 2009

Team Survivor California provides women with fun fitness opportunities in a warm, safe environment. Women living with any kind of cancer come together to walk, run, hike, participate in a yoga class, swim, cycle, train for a triathlon, and more. The feeling of strength and support at the end of a class is second to none.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching a woman come into a class exhausted and sure she couldn't do anything only to see her leave an hour later relaxed, glowing, and vowing to return the following week...and then come back again!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

outstanding! When I think of a "regular" yoga class I picture nice hardwood floors, peaceful music, & lovely lighting. The instructors often have class in a basement or conference room, but the feeling in the room is the same as in a yoga studio.

Ways to make it better...

there were more classes in a wider variety of locations.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

geography and lack of funding. No one wants to drive 2 hours to a weekly aerobics class, so geography is challenging. With more support, additional classes could be opened thereby alleviating the geography issue.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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