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Strength for Life Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Breast Cancer, Health, Health Care

Mission: Mission: A community exercise program in which persons with a cancer diagnosis participate in group classes designed to enhance their recovery process. Services provided will include educating cancer patients and the general public on the benefits of exercise in reducing the risk of certain cancers and improving functional activities.

Results: Since 2007, SFL has been breaking down access barriers and bringing free, quality specialized exercise therapy to cancer patients and survivors through innovative support programs that are comprehensive and coordinated. The program is unique in that it limits the travel time that participants undertake to access quality, safe and effective exercise therapy for an improved recovery. Moreover, SFL offers its exercise programs to participants free of charge and provides the equipment so the exercise prescription can be continued at home. With a minimum of 4 participants, SFL seeks to institute a group class that is convenient locally and accessible and is open to any adult cancer patient/survivor regardless of gender or diagnosis. SFL holds as many sessions as the communities warrant, providing certified instructors. SFL places a strong emphasis on strength training and reducing risk of cancer recurrence through community partnerships. SFL programs provide comprehensive exercise therapy and fitness education via local schools, churches, community centers, libraries - on regular weekday schedules. Each of the partner sites helps to recruit patients and families, coordinate exercise activities, and reinforce mind over body messages. SFL collaborates with Stony Brook University, Mather Hospital, Northwell Health System, Winthrop University Hospital, Southampton Hospital, Brookhaven Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, American Cancer Society, and has a presence on the Suffolk County Cancer Awareness Task Force.

Target demographics: Strength for Life is open to all adult cancer patients/survivors, regardless of age, gender or cancer diagnosis.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 200 participants in classes and retreats.

Geographic areas served: Strength for Life (SFL) is a non-profit dedicated to providing free exercise programs designed to enhance the recovery process of persons with a cancer diagnosis throughout Long Island communities.

Programs: Services provided include educating cancer patients, caregivers and the medical community on the benefits of incorporating exercise into the treatment regimen and its effect on reducing the risk of certain cancers and re-occurrences, and improving bodily functional activities. Programs are conducted by certified cancer exercise specialists in a group setting and held at accessible locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Community Stories

204 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

SFL is truly a Godsend. The daily zoom exercise classes, the writing workshops, nutrition lessons and wonderful connections with my fellow cancer survivors/patients have really helped me get through the pandemic. Debbie Hughes is a Wonder Woman, managing to keep us all fit, safe and united while having to remain physically distant. One day she will earn the gold medal she so deserves. This is a wonderful and vital organization.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently attended the Strength for Life retreat weekend. What a fabulous experience. The women I met were brave and inspiring. The event was very well organized and informative. I walked away feeling relaxed, inspired and empowered to do more for myself. It was a treat to have an event focused on my health and well-being. The entire staff was warm, friendly, happy and sincere.
I also attend the weekly strength for life classes. It has jump started me to exercise. I feel much stronger and capable since beginning these classes. I look forward to seeing the group of ladies and our wonderful instructor, Debbie, each week. We learn exercises that we can do at home (plus have a lot of laughs at the same time). We are all different ages and at different stages of the disease, but have a common bond. I am so very grateful for this organization!
Katherine O’Halloran

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Several years ago, I found out about Jacqui Enrico and the wonderful things she does for patients with cancer. I was never able to connect to take any of these classes. Finally, I saw a medical facility that I was familiar with being I had my chemotherapy there, the Monter Center in Manhasset. She welcomed me with open arms, supplied me with mat, straps and ball. I'm still in the learning process, but I find Jacquie a no-nonsense instructor with a heart of gold. It is an honor and privilege to be a part of such a wonderful organization, and instructor, Jacqui Enrico. You won't be disappointed.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jacqui is the greatest instructor I have ever had. I have lung cancer and I do not think about it until I have to go for my Cat scan. I keep making real excuses for not going back but Jacqui encourages and even teases me that I will be back to our Friday classes, so even when I have to pick up my grandson from the bus I do get to class even if I am a little late. Jacqui has always made me feel welcome and we have a great group that keeps me wanting to return. I sometimes feel "poor Jacqui" she has to put up with our nonsense , but this is what makes us want to return and of course the most important thing is that I have learned many exercises that have been very beneficial.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just came back from a retreat sponsored by Strength for Life, this was the most amazing experience. It was absolutely the best weekend that I have had since my diagnosis 2 years ago. Not only is the staff amazing loving people but the truly amazing brave women that I have met there. It was very well organized and went without any problems whatsoever. I came home from this retreat feeling happy, positive and empowered. It gave me a sense of wellbeing, reignited that fight inside me and also truly made me realize that we are not alone in this battle. I also attend the weekly exercise classes given by Strength for Life which I look forward to as well, not only has it inspired me to get out there and exercise more, but I also met such amazing, loving people as a result. This organization is a godsend and I am so thankful that my path has led me to them. Love, love, love the staff and the whole concept that they stand for. Thank you Debbie, Jacqui and everyone associated with Strength for Life. -Darlene Homire-

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Since my diagnosis, I've had mostly sleepless nights. Worrying about the future and how I was going to make it. I only let the fear that gripped me come out in the silence of the night as everyone else slept. Meeting other survivors and hearing they felt the same, lifted a weight off my shoulders. The retreat weekend gave me laughter and hope. Thanks so much!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

You are not alone….
I always knew I would get breast cancer. After two lumpectomies, I opted for a Bi-lateral mastectomy.

After leaving the hospital after the last surgery that was it. No aftercare. I found that my arms no longer moved like they used to. I could no longer swim or do many other activities that I use to take for granted. I could barely raise them long enough to wash my hair. I thought this was just a byproduct of my surgeries. I just lived with it.

I met a young woman at the LI2Day walk who told me about Strength for Life and told me I must go.
I signed up on line. Jacqui immediately responded and made me feel beyond welcome. When I attended the class Jacqui knew everyone’s story. She knew what they were going through or had been through. She was interested, she listened, and she cared. She listened to my story and my health decisions. Being alone in my decision process I never was quite sure I made the right choices. Talking to her allowed me to feel comfortable that my choices were right for me.

I just finished my second set of classes with Jacqui. I now have full range of motion in my arms. (possibly better than my pre-cancer range) I no longer think about breast cancer every time I wash my hair or try to reach for something. I look forward to swimming next summer!

Beyond feeling better physically, I joined a group where I saw and felt, I was not alone.
Thank you all at strength for life for being there for people like me. Thank you....

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent program which helps us fight cancer physically through exercise and mentally through feeling better about ourselves while escaping from the world of cancer for an hour. Jacque is an excellent instructor who can deal with participants with different levels of ability. Love these sessions. Phil Gandolfo

1 Arminta B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a cancer survivor taking medication exercise helps greatly to hear my body messages. Our instructor's compassion, skill and adaptability make the class an enjoyment for people on every level of their cancer journey.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

A friend had mentioned an article in the paper about Strength for Life, I cut it out and kept it. I guess at the time I wasn't ready. Then a friend of a friend told me about it and refreshed my memory and I contacted them. I was lucky to be a part of the wellness retreat held September 19 - 20th, 2015. I must admit doing this was way out of my comfort zone but I was so glad I did. I met and heard stories of so many wonderful, strong women who were all very positive and inspirational. The retreat had wonderful speakers who enlightened us on various topics. We did Zumba, yoga, strength training and Reiki. Best of all was being introduced to Jacqui, Debbie, and Teresa who are all amazing! They are such wonderful, giving, caring women and I felt so fortunate to be a part of the wellness retreat and since have started the weekly exercise classes with Jacqui which are awesome. I would recommend strength for life to anyone everyone it is the best organization I have ever come in contact with and am so greatful.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I only found information about this inspiring group through a random internet search when I was feeling crazy with brain tumor chemo.
I'm a single mother living with two of my three kids (ages 13 and 11) and though I get some help from friends and my separated husband I'm pretty much the one in charge of bringing them up - an exhausting task even for a healthy person!
Having a break from my chaotic (and depressing) situation was amazing, really, truly amazing. The women running the weekend were so positive and the women in treatment were funny and all fighting to survive and enjoy life at the same time. My room mate I had been matched up with (both with kids, approaching divorce) made me laugh more than I had done for a long time!
I thought that the exercise would be too strenuous but we were told to do what we could and I realized that I could do more than I had thought. I was rubbish at rumba, but had a great time giving it a go. Strength training was a bit daunting but I got good advice about adapting the exercises and I really enjoyed it!
All in all I left the camp glowing - exercise, new friends and wonderfully refreshed to go back to my kids and be cheerful. A big thank you to every person involved with Strength for Life. Your kindness, enthusiasm and energy spread to us all!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you so much Jacqui, Debbie and Theresa for organizing the Sept.19-20, 2015 Retreat! it gave me the much needed opportunity to learn about wellness and the tools I need to move on in my recovery.

Thank you!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I don't even know how to begin to say .....thank you ....
My amazing journey with Strength For Life began with a newspaper article given to me by a friend. I took that info to my social worker and from there it was up to me to get actively involved in my healing .
And I did....
Monday nights at Winthrop are fun .
Jacqui, you make me , us feel alive and loved through exercise . Thank you !
When I found out Strength For Life gives us a weekend of healing I couldn't believe it . I still can't believe it.
What a beautiful ,kind , educational fun, amazing , active weekend I had .
Not only did you , Debbie and Theresa exercise my body but also my mind .
We had guest speakers that gave a food for thought , more like a feast !
We zumba'd ,had yoga and had the most enlightened reki experience.
Thank you !
Since breast cancer I do my best to find the silver lining in life . Strength for life has been one of those big silver linings .
With Gratitude,
Catherine Beriloff
To all those amazing ,strong women I met on the September 2015 weekend
I am sending positive energy to your journey of healing .
Namaste

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

So happy to find out about this organization. Jacqui Errico is a wonderful strength training instructor; very sensitive to individual needs. She encourages her class to be the best they can be. It felt good.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just finished taking Jacqui's class in Wantagh. Thank you Jacqui and Strength for Life for providing a safe and fun opportunity to learn how to exercise safely. I look forward to the next series of classes!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jacqui's classes are a breath of fresh air for breast cancer survivors like myself. She is master teacher combined with graciousness, kindness and bridge-building for us to meet others whose stories resonate with our own thereby giving each other STRENGTH FOR LIFE! HOORAY for Jacqui...till we meet for our next class!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Went to an exercise class at Winthrop-Jacqui Errico is fabulous! It was such a positive, uplifting experience. I encourage all to attend- at whatever phase you are in. Sharing stories is comforting. Met wonderful fighters/survivors !

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

For the last year and a half I felt like I lived at stony Brook cancer center, so the first time someone mentioned strength for life classes I was not ready to spend anymore time in stony brook. Luckily, a friend from one of my support groups mentioned strength for life fitness classes and a weekend retreat, and I should attend with her. Well, we went and what a wonderful experience

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended the 4/11-4/12 retreat and had a fantastic time. This is the first retreat that I have ever been on even though this is my third battle with cancer. Everyone was so kind and it was wonderful to have a chance to talk with people who knew what I am going through. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity and to build friendships with these wonderful women. Strength for Life is a wonderful charity ran by kind, thoughtful and generous people.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just attended the 4/11-4/12/2015 Wellness Retreat with Strength for Life, and had a great experience. The guest speakers, volunteer leaders, classes, and hotel services were exceptional. It was a mini-vacation from all the medical appointments, financial paperwork that I have been dealing with since my 2/5/2015 diagnosis of Stage 4 Breast Cancer with Metastasis to the bone. Thank you again for offering this service and I look forward to spreading the word to others who may benefit. Charlotte

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

On April 11-12, 2015 I attended the Wellness Retreat sponsored by Strength for Life. As a breast cancer survivor, attending the retreat allowed me to connect with other women who have had similar experiences and face some of the challenges I have during my journey. Debbie and Jacqui structured the retreat so well by having presenters that addressed nutrition, exercise and spiritual wellness. All these are important keys to any patient or survivor. The ladies were fantastic and I had a really nice time! This retreat comes highly recommended for anyone who has been diagnosed, living with or beyond cancer.

1 Chris181

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thank you Debbie and Jacqui and all of the volunteers for a "Spectacular" day of fun and learning. It was a pleasure to meet and connect with all involved at the "Strength For Life" retreat at The Hyatt.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hands down , "Strength for Life" is the first support group that I have found where the focus is on what I CAN DO to get fit physically and, as a result, mentally and emotionally. The retreat was not a pity party, or a place to compare sob stories, something that I have found to be the case in other cancer support groups. " Strength for Life" offered a full day of various workshops focused on what those who have been diagnosed with cancer CAN DO in terms of exercise, nutrition, and emotional well-being to help themselves. For me, being shown and told that I am capable of various levels of excercise, and no excuses accepted, was hugely empowering.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a rewarding experience!! My first weekend retreat spent with a wonderful group of volunteers, along with my fellow cancer patients and survivors allowed me to rekindle my spirit,relax my mind & continue to reclaim my health and strength.

thanks Kathy P

1 Rose-Marie G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just want to say " that strength for life has been helping me on road to recovery" . The retreat was inspirational, calming, emotional, and physically healing. The various classes made me feel so good about myself, and that I am not alone.
A special thank you to Jacqui, Debbie, Theresa, and to all the other women that gave up there time to make the retreat possible, And to all the new friends I made on the way.

1 nannies3s

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just got to go to my first retreat for strength for life. It was an amazing experience. The other cancer patients pand survivors were such an inspiration and made you feel so welcome. The different volunteers they had come in an offer us pilates, a writing workshop, an exercise class a naturopath dr. and a reiki class. The experience was truly welcomed and so inspiring. I can't say enough about Jacqui & Debbie and all the volunteers who were there to encourage and help us was truly selfless. I thank you with all my heart.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 4

I presently have a tumor sitting on my vena cava and it will be there forever. I was told about this class by a wonderful lady who thought it would help. She was right. I have a place to fit in and Jacqui is an amazing teacher for this exercise class. I am so blessed to be able to attend and recommend it for all cancer patients. Keep up the good work.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This was my first experience with "Strength For Life". Recently diagnosed with breast cancer & had a mestectomy in June 2014. While recovering & not knowing what exercise you can & should be doing, I was blessed to be able to start in September. What a wonderful way to express your feelings, share medical problems, express friendship and have a wonderful extensive workout. Plus laugh ALOT!!! Jaquie is Outstandingly Wonderful!
Sincerely, Rosemary DeLorenzo

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Strength for Life is an awesome way to get cancer patients and survivors warriors off the couch. It is a support group as well as exercise program for both men and woman. The weekend retreat is amazing. You meet many people on different journeys who all need the support of this life changing program. Thank you Jacqui and Deb for making this a success. Join in on the walk/Run on November 23 to support all cancer patients, survivors and Strength for Life.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I heard about Strength for Life, Inc. and thought it would be a great weekend retreat to get me back on the fitness track. I have just finished treatment for breast cancer and decided to apply. I was put on a wait list but due to a cancelation I was offered a spot. I thought the weekend was amazing. It was structured very well, great speakers from homeopathic doctors who shared invaluable information on living healthy to home improvement that will foster healthy living through Feng Shui. The exercise portion was not intimidating at all and was tailored to those of us in treatment or just getting started again to those who are advance. There was also an unbelievable Reiki circle that just filled the room with so much wonderful positive healing energy. I met a great group of women, who meshed well and best of all food and lodging were free. Great organization every philanthropist should consider when looking to donate. Well worth your money and as a cancer survivor very much appreciated. Adela R.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the most amazing time of my life this weekend, and all this was possible because of Strength for Life. I had the blessing of meeting great women that in one way or other are fighting the big "C" with courage and determination. Thanks to Jacqui, Debbie and Theresa and all the instructors for nurturing not only our bodies, but our souls and minds. Love you and thank you from the bottom of my heart
Vivian

2 Kate81

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was placed on a wait list for a wellness retreat earlier this year. I was fortunate enough to attend this past weekend and feel so blessed to have done so. These ladies were recommended to me, so I knew that I had something to look forward to, but they far exceeded any expectations I had. From the accommodations, to the group they assembled, to the volunteers and programs provided, everything was wonderful. They walk the walk and they have introduced me to a wonderful group of women who I now consider lifelong friends.

1 Brette K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Very special and caring people run this organization and they ask cancer survivors for nothing in return - just to feel better. They educated me on good health, diet, and exercise. It's so wonderful that there are special people in this world that give to those who need and it has lifted my spirit.

1 Lady L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

LOVE LOVE LOVE this group! Can't ask for a better support group. Very uplifting to the spirit. Loads of great information learned. Great motivators in keeping me healthy with excercise, food and spirit. Went on an awesome retreat and made many many new and great future friends. Looking forward to more future fun and a healthy lifestyle.

1 Melissa216

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so happy to have found this organization. I attended there exercise program which was great. I am currently on chemo and I was able to do all of the exercises. They even give you equipment to keep free of charge. I also attended their wellness retreat this past weekend. I met a great group of fellow cancer survivors and we learned about complementary medicine. I highly reccomend strength for life at any stage of your cancer journey.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so lucky to have found this group!
I am finding my way back to health after a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Strength for life invited me to a wonderful weekend retreat at which I met 20 fantastic survivors on journeys similar to mine. The program was full of healthy exercise programs from Zumba to Strength Training (with all the equipment provided not only for use there but to take home!) to Mat Pilates to Reiki (with enough practitioners for each of the participants!). There were informative talks by a Naturopathic Doctor and a Feng Shui practitioner.
It was absolutely the BEST. Jacqui, Debby, Theresa and all the volunteers who worked with us, THANK YOU for the pampering! I needed it! To all those who donated their time, talent and MONEY to make this work, THANK YOU!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Strength for life is a wonderful nonprofit organization. This weekend I partisipated in a wellness retreat sponsored by them. There were guest speakers on Naturopathic medicine and Feng Shui. We participated in exercise classes, and a reiki circle with sound healing. The whole experience was amazing and empowering. I met other woman that I plan to keep in touch with. Sunday morning I went on a hike lead by Jacqui. She is an amazing dedicated and caring person, fun to be around. The hike was a great end to a wonderful weekend
I also go to exercise classes given by Jacqui geared for people dealing with cancer and its side effects from treatment. These classes have helped me regain my strength and feel good about myself.
thank you Jacqui and Strength for Life. I am so grateful You are there for us.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just completed an 8 week exercise program with Jacqui. She is a good instructor and pushed us in a good and kind way. I can see and feel a difference in my core muscles. I still do some of the exercises at home but look forward to going back to another class were I can exercises in a group and benefit from the group motivation and socialization.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I started with strength for life in march. I was just starting to exercise again. what a wonderful way to get my strength back. It is very supportive to exercise with other survivors and Jackie knows how to adjust each exercise for what you need. At the end of the 8 weeks she invited us to the wellness weekend. What a wonderful weekend full of exercises and lectures from different healing pathways.
Nutrition Reiki and feng shui. All interesting ways to promote healing and inner peace. I hope to get to go on another weekend. I loved it so much

1 Lisa0625

Client Served

Rating: 5

i have found Strength For Life to be a wonderful . Due to treatments, surgeries and health issues someone may not be able to do a specific exercise. Jacqui is always quick to have an alternative exercise. in addition, I find the class to be a great source of support.

This weekend I had the honor of going to The Wellness Retreat. What a fantastic experience. My eyes were opened to other forms of healing and feeling better about life along with what my doctors have done for me. Thank you Jacqui, Debbie and Theresa for giving so much of yourselves to others.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found this to be an excellent program. Jackie was understanding and was able to adapt the exercises to an individuals needs. I would recommend this program without hesitation.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't say enough nice things about this class, its a great program for cancer patients. Going to this class and excercising makes me feel better. Talking to other cancer patients has really helped me, its been a support group. Jacqui makes the class fun, she has a great sense of humor. Thank you!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a breast cancer survivor who needed some support and I found that through Strength For Life. I would like to thank Jacqui for providing me with exercises that will help me to strengthen my body and my mind. It was a pleasure meeting all the cancer survivors and fighters. Keep moving forward and stay strong.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jacqui: I want to thank you for all your time and attention that you showed with this class. This is an amazing program that is offered to cancer patients. Not only was I able to participate with the class, you gave each of us your own personal attention when we needed it. It was not just the exercise program it was also a support group as I was able to talk to other people that have or are going through what I am now. I look forward to taking this class again after my reconstruction surgery. Keep up the good work. This program is truly an asset to the Carol Baldwin Cancer Center.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am an ovarian cancer survivor, currently under treatment to battle a reoccurrence last year. The Strength for Life class was recommended to me to help me regain some strength and flexibility that I have lost during treatment. I cannot say enough good things about this experience. I have only attended one 8 week session so far, but I do see an improvement in my strength and flexibility already.

However, the biggest improvement has been in my balance - which was a wonderful surprise. I am no longer bumping into walls or teetering off the sidewalk when I walk!

The women in this class are all friendly and very cheerful, and we have a great time laughing together while Jacqui pushes us onward! Jacqui keeps us all laughing while working hard, making sure we are staying within the range that we are capable of handling. She gives each of us individualized advise and alters the exercises to accommodate each person's ability. She is like our own personal trainer!

The benefit for me has not just been physical, it has been enjoyable socially as well. I had been avoiding joining a gym or exercise class because I knew I would be falling behind the pace of the group. But here we are all in the same situation and we struggle on together as a group while having a lot of fun.

I am so thankful I found this program, it is the first time I have ever been excited to exercise, and I can't wait for the next session to begin!


Client Served

Rating: 5

Jaqui, Can't thank you enough for the service you provide to ladies like myself trying to battle back from this lousy cancer. I just completed my first 8 week Strength for Life Program and I can't wait for the next one to begin! You are a terrific teacher and I think it is amazing how you were able to work with all of us and accommodate all of our different levels of ability in the same class. We laughed, we worked out, it was great!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you so much for this one of a kind experience. It meant so much to me in my continuing recovery!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This retreat far exceeded my expectations. I feel that healthy living can help prevent a reoccurrence and I really needed support to get back on track with an exercise program. And most importantly and unexpected, the emotional support that was provided (while we were receiving very valuable info relating to our battle with this disease and "exercising our way into wellness") made me feel less alone. I was in tears listening to others unique but similar stories and deeply touched by the level of care and concern by the organizers and all the volunteers. Never have I felt so nurtured on this journey. I don't think there is anything out there that can compare to the healing I received here. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jacqui is so energentic and driven to help others feel and be better. The Strength for life exercise program has been such a wonderful outlet for me and it has really helped me to move on and get moving again. I have met some wonderful women at the workout sessions and at the retreat I attended in April. I never really attended a "support" group during my treatments and surgeries for breast cancer. But these exercise sessions have been my support group and have really helped me reach back into life again. Thank you to Jacqui and all the wonderful women on the April retreat and in the Stony Brook group:)

2 Emilio D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jacqui came to a breast cancer support group meeting and explained and offered Strength For Life services and their mission to us. I was very impressed that they work so hard to provide such a valuable service without a fee. I started personal training classes and realized life does not need to revolve around a cancer diagnosis, you are not alone on your journey. I feel healthier and happier with myself when I attend the classes. You also develop a comradeship with fellow survivors and Jacqui that is priceless. This organization lives up to their name " Strength For Life".

1 bbbrn

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing organization. I have been fortunate to have been not only a client of their exercise classes, but also a recipient of one of their weekend retreats. They truly embody the spirit of the non profit. All services and equipment are provided gratis and they work tirelessly to raise funding.
KUDOS!!
Gerry H

1 Rose-Ann M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was very depressed and under chemo treatments and had so many other things going on in my body. I wasn't able to exercise and thanks to Jacquie and Strength for Life as I was helped along I began to do more and more exercise and it encouraged me and I began to really see a difference. I am able to do so much now and am not depressed. When you have all these ailments mostly caused by cancer and/or chemo it pushes you back in life and when you get a chance to do these exercises and they really help lift your spirit, mind and body it makes a real difference. It is wonderful that all is donated so you don't have to worry about how to buy this or that to do the exercises or pay for the wonderful trainers. They are a blessing from God. I am so thankful for all they have done. I never would have thought I could get this far back to healthy and happy and fit. I can't say enough how this is one of the best programs there and we even have fun.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just completed my 8-week session with Jacquie. She works hard and is very kind. When my knees gave out, she showed me how to excercise from a chair. Can't wait for the next session to begin. Thank you.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just completed the 8 week exercise class. I was impressed with the professionalism and kindness shown to all of us in each session. I felt great going to the classes and look forward to attending in the future.

3 Denise84

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am always amazed of the strength and courage that all of the woman have at the retreats. Jacque & Debbie are selfless when it comes to this organization. The amount of time, effort and love that is put into just one wellness retreat always shines through. The morning always begins with each of the woman sharing their stories over breakfast. With every story the woman are drawn closer to each other. It doesn't matter where they came from, they all have a common denominator in this life. That being said, the goal is to achieve a life of health and wellness. As a volunteer, I too get to experience all of the weekends activities. From exercise class, Pilates, Reiki healing, yoga, and hiking through the beautiful trails of the Greenbelt. For me, it's getting to know these woman and being able to make a difference in their lives. I know that they make a difference in mine. In closing, I am so honored to be affiliated with Strength For Life, and have the opportunity to experience first hand all they have to offer.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm extremely enthusiastic to highly recommend attending a Strength for Life wellness retreat. This April 2014 retreat will be a wonderful and unforgettable memory I can always revert back to. Especially during difficult moments that come forth being affected by the struggles of cancer - emotionally, mentally and physically. I can truly say that I cannot remember the last time I felt such kindness, inner peace, and the feeling of normalcy among people whom I mostly met for the first time. It was a therapeutic weekend full of amazing strong women releasing their raw feelings and experiences without restraint. Not only learning and realizing several things from others, but also about ourselves through the power of exercise and spiritual practice. A well-deserved special thanks needs to be given to Jacqui, Debbie, Denise, as well as all those who participated their time and services; it truly is such a beautiful gift to give others in of honor Evelyn Knapp.

1 Burnett B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I didn't know what to expect during the retreat but I was blown away by all the love, support & genuine caring of Jacqui, Debbie & Denise. It helped me physically, mentally & spiritually. We did Zumba, Pilates, strength for life exercise class & Reiki. The instructors always made you feel comfortable with doing as much or as little as you were able to. I met some brave woman & we shared tears as well as laughs. I am amazed that Jacqui, Debbie & Denise volunteer their time & energy to make sure that we have a good time & we sure did. The weekend was very organized & it was truly an uplifting experience for me. I left there feeling calm & relaxed. To all of the volunteers & to the speaker I want to say thank you. individually you were terrific, but together you were all amazing & united as an inspiring team. Thank you for taking the time & dedicating yourselves to this awesome program that has touched so many special women. What a true testament in honoring your friend Evelyn Knapp. I know she is so proud of you ! It felt good taking time for me & not having to worry about anything or anybody else for the weekend. I felt pampered! Diane

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Strength for Life Retreat was an amazing gift to me, and I feel completely blessed. The directors
Jacqui, Debbie, and Denise are personable , kind, and uplifting. This retreat was really the most positive thing I have done for myself since my diagnosis, it was wonderful in so many ways.
I will always remember this time and always have appreciation for the connecting with all of the lovely strong women I met this weekend.
The exercise classes gave me hope, for I was only use to exercise with weight and now I know, I can
get a lot of benefits using pilates, zumba, and strength trining with resistance bands. The volunteers that
presented the classes were kind and giving.
Meditation and Reiki circle, made me feel amazing, relaxed, a feeling of calm...along with a oneness with all of the others in the room.
The strength for life team is commended, and the honor Evelyn Knapp lives on. Again I am thankful.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The retreat was absolutely awesome! The positive energy, the connection with other survivors and the love and kindness shown to us by the organization made the weekend a wonderful experience. I learned so much from each and every presenter. I am so grateful for all the volunteers that took the time to make this such a positive experience for people like me. I now have the tools for better living physically, mentally and nutritionally. I truly appreciate all the volunteers' time and effort. Strengh For Life has had an incredible impact on my life and my recovery.



1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so fortunate to have shared a wonderful retreat with other women who share similar diagnoses. Strength for Live is a non-profit agency geared towards those who are directly effected from breast, ovarian and other cancers. The mission of Strength for Life says it all. Collectively through volunteers, survivors, and healing practioners, we learn how to become strong mentally emotionally and of course physically. The spectrum of ages is no barrier when surrounded by love, support and unconditional acceptance. This organization is powerful and there is not one out there which compares. I am privileged to have taken part in the retreat which is filled with laughter, education, and practioners who share a common goal, health and then the next step is, how do we get to there together!?

I have also participated in the 8-week strength for life program. It was the first time since I worked out since surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. The instructor, Jaqui is pure motivation and she tailored the work outs so each and everyone of us was able to full participate given our 'physical' limitation. I highly recommend Strength for Life. Upward and onward we go!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended the Wellness retreat by Strength for Life this past weekend in Hauppauge and I was grateful to be included for the second year in a row. I didn't think it was possible but it was even better than last year. The amazing women, Jacqui, Debbie and Theresa, who dedicate their time and energy to this cause outdid themselves once again. From the guest speakers, to the food, accommodations, exercise, yoga, Zumba, Reiki and Tai Chi classes, nothing was lacking!! These women genuinely care and love helping others and that's what makes this program so special. I met so many amazing and brave women at the retreat and they all truly inspire me. We laughed, talked and got emotional together. I will never forget everything I learned this weekend and I will hopefully educate others about staying healthy. I only wish more people affected by cancer can experience Strength for Life and the important and life-changing work they do.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended a Wellness retreat on the weekend of Sept 14th and it was a life-changing experience.
Jacqui and Debbie were amazing, they really went above and beyond in making everyone comfortable and happy. The yoga, meditation/poetry, Zumba, reiki classes were all done by volunteers and they were all wonderful. Since I work in a hospital, I would recommend this to any patients/friends who are dealing with cancer.

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1

Client Served

Rating: 5

It was such a wonderful experience. I have never really been able to share everything I went through and it was such a comfort to have other people to share with. Everyone is so warm and caring. The speakers and other girls that attended share their information and you learn so many things and resources that you had no idea existed. The atmosphere was so welcoming and fun. Once all of the exercising was done (which made my thighs so sore), we experienced Reiki which was amazing. I cannot express how much I got out of the weekend. It was much more than I expected!!! I am so grateful that I was able to attend!!
Thank you!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended the wellness retreat this past weekend was just amazed at the dedication these ladies had to helping us through a very rough time in our lives. The information provided to us was so helpful and the support system created was just priceless to me. A cancer diagnosis can be a very scary thing. Even though I am lucky enough to have the support of friends and family, this group provided the missing piece of the puzzle I needed to help me through.

1 Tegan B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Yesterday morning I drove 3 hrs for what I thought was a yoga retreat. I was pleasantly surprised for much more than that. There were classes on health and wellness through natural living, strength training, Zumba, yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Guided mediation and imagery, a group Reiki healing, more classes on chiropractic care and Feng Shui. Not to mention we were well fed throughout the day and blessed with many caring volunteers to help guide us through the activities.
It might be diffcult to believe that was one day since they packed so much in there. I had to retire as soon as it was done to get some well deserved rest in bed. I have two small children, 2 and 5, so I cherish sleep when I can get it. The hotel room was peaceful and pleasantly posh. Knowing that I didn't have to clean up a huge mess after a long day was even more comforting. I slept like a baby.
After breakfast on Sunday, I did a work out on the elliptical in the gorgeous gym. We had a group water ballet class and said our goodbyes. It was over so quickly, but the bonds built this weekend will last. I have a whole new group of women that I can help support and lean on when needed. Cancer can be very isolating. As a young survivor, I don't know women my age that I can relate to on this level.
This retreat has come at a time when I needed it most. Several months after reconstruction and a year out from my last chemo, anxiety has been difficult to manage. I've been working as much as possible to catch up with debts incurred during treatment and through several surgeries. Exercise has been difficult to fit in with the cold weather, caring for two little ones, and house work. A weight has been lifted. Now I possess more tools for finding "Strength for life". It was so much more than just a yoga retreat. I can't thank them enough for this life enriching experience.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a very rare cancer called leiomyosarcoma of my abdomen and belly. I was diagnosed in dec of 2012. I spent almost a month in the hospital. i had a tumor the size of a melon and a kidney removed. I spent most of the year of 2013 getting very aggressive chemo every week and trying to recover from the major surgery i had. I am so grateful to be alive and count my blessings every day. Meetin jacqui, Debbie and everyone else on the wellness retreat weekend was one of the best things that has happened. I met wonderful people from all over and we all learned a lot from each other. The love and support everyone shared was incredible. I was there Feb8-9 2014. Thank you jacqui and Debbie for making this possible looking forward to many events in the future. Jamie Flecker

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of attending a fitness weekend get away about 3 years ago with Strength For Life. It was an amazing weekend filled with activities and good times. It was comfortable to workout with others going thru treatment and not feeling like the odd man out at the gym. The weekend gave me the boost I needed to start working out again, which is exactly what I needed to regain my inner strength. Thank you!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a breast cancer survivor. In 2011 I had surgery and radiation treatments which left me sore and stiff. I found myself not able to move as well as before and I was becoming more and more sedentary because all my joints were aching and stiff. The Strength For Life exercise class helped me get myself moving again and the stiffness, aches and pains have lessened by a lot. More importantly, Strength For Life got me started on a path to know that I must keep moving and stretching in order to function better in my life as I move forward. I now realize that fact and have become adamant that I exercise each day and do whatever I can to keep myself moving. It's my new lifestyle. Thank you Jacqui Errico!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was not able to complete classes due to private reasons. Nevertheless, It was a great experience to meet Jacqui and learn how important is exercise for our recovery.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jacqui helped me get moving after my cancer treatment. She showed me various ways to stretch and excersise. Even though I was in a class, she has the abbility to make me feel like I was thoe only one she was coaching.