In 2007 I had been out of medical school for 24 years. At 46 I was always on the go working three jobs a) as a physician/nephrologist taking care of sick patients who needed dialysis b) as a research scientist doing research, writing grants, publishing papers c) Being a Mom to my 10 year old son. In Sept 2007 LIFE came knocking at my door. Taking care of dying sick patients my entire career I was faced with my own mortality. My story is no different from any other Breast Cancer Survivor but I had the added knowledge of knowing all the things that do go wrong with medical care or the precise statistics of recurrence or the minimal improvement in survival after extensive life threatening chemotherapy regimens. Once the treatment was over it was the constant wait i.e. cancer coming back. I remembered Dr Abraham Verghese (author of The Tennis Partner) saying that every year 200 young doctors are needed to replace the ones who take their own lives. I did not want to become a statistic. During this period I started taking classes at the DIVA program. Joining the DIVA program two years ago initiated a spiritual journey that was unparallel to any past experience. It was not just the physical exercise but the mental transformation that has nurtured my soul. The friendship of my fellow DIVA’s, their constant encouragement, their support has made me stronger, calmer and a more beautiful person. I make it to at least one if not two classes a day. After spending an hour with Blanca and Connie doing Yoga I feel as if I have just come back from a long vacation. Doing Tai Chi with Fred has changed the way I perceive things around me. Recently a few of us have started walking the PATH 4-5 times a week at the corner of Babcock and Hamilton Wolff. The Path we walk has become a symbol for life. Maria would exclaim that these beautiful flowers are soon going to die in the summer heat. Don’t you see the beauty of being born…each one of them comes into being, flourishes and dies. Just like every one of us, just like life. We encounter the colorful butterflies feasting on the flowers, a baby bunny scampers across the path; a deer watches us from the woods in the early morning light. We see a group of young teenagers laughing and Maria points out that they are unaware of the snake that just slithered by, unaware what life will bring. As we walk we talk and somehow we begin to understand more about ourselves and the world around us. Maria calls it the healing path. If it wasn’t for the ThriveWell Cancer Foundation I would not be here telling you about my wonderful journey and my strongest support and nomination for funding
DIVA is a nutrition and exercise program which is free to breast cancer survivors. I have participated in the program for two years and it has been a life saver for me. Not only does it allow me to participate in various types of physical activities, but it also provides a support group of wonderful women who have experienced what I have in my breast cancer journey.
I am a breast cancer survivor. A breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. It was a challenging & hard-fought battle to endure the pain and suffering of multiple surgeries; the devasting effects and side-effects of chemotherapy; and to overcome my fear. My participation in the TriveWell Cancer Foundation (The DIVA Program) was strongly recommended to me by my oncologist. The DIVA Program is a FREE nutrition & exercise program for women with breast cancer. Breast cancer patients who follow diet & exercise guidlines can reduce their risk of recurrence by 30-40 percent! The DIVA Program (Deriving Inspiration & Vitality through Activity) is a fitness program offering aerobics, yoga, Thai Chi & zumba classes. It provides nutritional counseling. Artful Healing classes are available twice monthly. THE DIVA PROGRAM IS OFFERED FREE OF CHARGE. The DIVA Program gave me an opportunity to "Get My Life Back". ThriveWell Cancer Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for cancer by funding cancer research, providing patient support, and offering programs, such as The DIVA Program, to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. The DIVA "sisterhood" has given me an opportunity to gain control over my life, good health, & my survival rate. The DIVA Program positively impacts the San Antonio Community's breast cancer patients & survivors.
Thrivewell Cancer Foundation is a wonderful organization that provides a great service to breast cancer survivors. It offers healthy activities for survivors. I appreciate the uplifting and positive atmosphere at the activities. My favorite event was the "glitz and glam" movie premiere for "Sex and the City".
This is a great program for Breast Cancer Patients. it teaches nutrition to help prevent breast cancer from recurring and offers various exercise classes that are at a level that recovering breast cancer patients can participate in. Also a great support group when you are participating with other how have gone through the same treatment.
ThriveWell is a wonderful organization with a focused mission and staff. Last year's fundraising event was a great success and ThriveWell continues to be a worthy beneficiary! The research funded by last year's event has made great progress in learning more about Burkitt's Lymphoma, and I look forward to working with ThriveWell again soon!
I think Thrivewell is doing an amazing job servicing the patients at START. The DIVA program is open to all women affected by breast cancer. Their fundraising efforts are fun and innovative. I hope as time goes on they will recieve more funding which of course means more assistance for the patients. Thrivewell helps ease the pain of the patient's financial and emotional hardships that occur.
ThriveWell is an extraordinary foundation whose focus is all about people. The people who are cancer patients are always individuals, never numbers, statistics or ‘that one over there whose infusion beeper is going off’. I speak from experience: our names and our persons are always treated with respect, patience and kindness. The people who are oncology physicians and renowned researchers all have the same aim: to enhance the lives of those in their care. The fabulous DIVA program is just one example of how the people behind ThriveWell, its creators, staff and board members think ‘outside the box’ to give patients and survivors a unique and additional level of ongoing support and attention.
As a breast cancer survivor I am very thankful for the help & inspiration I have received from the DIVA program of the ThriveWell Cancer Foundation. My oncologist, Dr. Amy Lang, referred me to the DIVA program and mentioned that they offered aerobics classes. The aerobics class at the Forte Rehab location was the first aerobics class I had ever tried. It was good to be in a low key, but as strenuous as you choose class. The instructors are skilled & encouraging & all of us survivors cheer each other on to strengthening. After being away from DIVA aerobics for a while I was so thankful that a location opened near our home. I finally came to a class at the Alamo Fam. Fitness location & now I will get back to attending aerobics & other classes. I'll probably try the new YMCA DIVA location soon. I have learned that physical exercise does boost my mental energy & strength. Yea! Thank-you!!!
I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer in 2009. After diagnosis I read a lot about the connection between high fat diets and breast cancer risk. My weight was good, but I wasn't eating enough of the right kinds of food to support my health. I bought many books on diet and cancer and put together a plan for myself. I heard about the Diva Program while receiving Chemotherapy. I started attending the monthly nutrition classes and have found them to be very beneficial. They provide timely advice on foods to support health, but also allow for connections with other women going through similar situations. It's great to have a nutritionist to ask questions of and get expert advice on specific questions that concern you.
Three years ago I was asked to be the president of a newly forming organization, which still did not even have a name. During the past three years, ThriveWell has not only found an appropriate name, but has hired a full-time executive director. The impact the organization has already had in the lives of those breast cancer survivors, who have availed themselves of the phenomenal exercise and nutrition classes we provide, has been astounding. The research that ThriveWell has funded is directed towards those projects that would otherwise not receive the funds that would be necessary for a viable research project. Those patients who were able to get to their treatment appointments, because of our assistance, reveals profound gratitude on the parts of both the patient and the family.
I have been a supporter since the beginning, even prior to their legal charitable status, and have continued to support their various efforts. I have never seen an organization gain so much recognition and achieve so much in such a short time.I have had the opportunity to meet with a couple of the key players, and am even more impressed. What they are attempting to do is what your community can be proun of.
I have attended several Thrivewell events where I met women who have benefited from their DIVA program. Each one has had an inspirational story about how participating in fitness and wellness activities with other breast cancer survivors has changed their life.
As a member of the Board of ThriveWell Cancer Foundation, I am intricately aware of the passionate mission of our organization. Everyone involved has a deep desire and motivation to see cancer patients not only survive, but thrive. Our purpose is to enhance the quality of life of exhisting cancer patients and fund the most cutting edge research for the future cure for cancer. We are a forward-thinking organization looking at novel ways to treat cancer and focusing on the latest research on the survival benefit of breast cancer patients who change their lifestyle to a more fit one.