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B'ville: Not-for-profit helps patients back to shape

Susan Bertrand has helped numerous individuals living with or recovering from cancer.

After losing her sister Maureen to cancer six years ago, Bertrand formed Maureen's Hope Foundation, a not-for-profit that helps cancer patients in a variety of ways.

"Our mission is to help offer practical support and assistance to people facing the challenges of a cancer diagnosis or life altering disease," Bertrand said.

Since her sister passed, Bertrand's foundation has helped more than 520 people in the community in a variety of ways: providing a cleaning service for their homes during treatment; meals for their family from Lieh & Steigerwalds; wigs when patients have lost their hair; and baskets.

"Every person has been given one of our baskets filled with items of hope, comfort and inspiration designed specifically with that persons needs and interests in mind," Bertrand said.

Bertrand has now found a new way to help those in need.

"Over the years I have met many teens and young adults that struggle with weight loss or weight gain after a cancer diagnosis and the rough road of treatments," Bertrand said. "For many, fitness and wellness is a big concern because treatments often cause weight gain or weight loss along with fatigue that can last for months. I wanted to find a way to reach out to people and encourage and inspire them to take time for themselves to exercise, and to make it simple."

For this reason, Bertrand developed fitness care packages to be given to teen and adult patients.

"Beginning an exercise program can help you regain control of your life after a cancer diagnosis and the rough road of treatments. Exercise can improve your mood, boost your self-confidence and help to reduce fatigue," she said.

To help develop the fitness care packages, Bertrand enlisted the help of Jay Morgan and Bryan Morgan of Dynamics Health & Fitness of Liverpool.

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