YMCA Receives Grant from the Knight Cancer Institute -- Funding to Target Cancer Survival in Lane County

Eugene, Oregon — March 13, 2018 — The Eugene Family YMCA has received a grant from the Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) to focus on recruiting male prostate cancer survivors to participate in the LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program.

"Our LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program is an extension of our integrated community health outreach which is core to the Y's mission," said Danielle Uhlhorn, YMCA Board President. "The Eugene Family YMCA was the first in Oregon to offer this important program, but the majority of participants have been women and we know there are men out there who would also greatly benefit from this program."

Created to help adult cancer survivors reclaim their health and well-being following a cancer diagnosis, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a 12-week small group program that is free to the participant and is now in its third year at our local Y. This program is 100 percent subsidized by the Eugene Family YMCA and private donations. 

"Without the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program, I would be sitting on the couch eating potato chips. The cancer, and resulting treatments, took away all my energy, ambition, and self-esteem," said Darell Smith, a participant in the Eugene Family YMCA's first LIVESTRONG at the YMCA group in 2016 and one of seven men who have participated in the local program. "I have always been self-sufficient, but the instructors in this Y program have helped me regain my self-esteem and the exercise is rebuilding my energy level and muscle tone."

The $10,000 grant from the Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program will fund the gathering of information on the unique needs of prostate cancer survivors in Lane County and establish partnerships with local providers to increase participation in the evidence-based LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program.

"Women tend to seek out health care more than men," said Lorne Bigley, M.D, a local family medicine physician. "Men often minimize symptoms to avoid going to the doctor, so the challenge of getting them through the door to take care of themselves is the first hurdle we face." 

According to the Agency for Health Research and Quality, men are 24 percent less likely to have visited a physician in the last year than women[i]. Nationally, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men and 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program is designed to build sustainable collaborations with Oregon communities by providing grants and other resources to foster development of community-identified cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship projects. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute has made a decade-long commitment to invest in this program to develop robust, sustainable programs that benefit the health of all Oregonians. 

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Additional information about the program is available on the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute website at www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/services/cancer/outreach-programs/community-grants/index.cfm.

Additional information about the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program is available at eugeneymca.org/programs/livestrong

[i] https://archive.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/patient-involvement/healthy-men/index.html

Sarah Finney