Jan 27, 2014 Joe Genco Uncategorized
In two successful years the Ride for Alive! charity bike ride in Skaneateles has raised more than $120,000. Starting this year, some of that money will go to a local business to help the foundation with its goal of helping cancer survivors lead healthy lives.
Gazella Fitness and Training, at 3986 Jordan Road, and the Alive! Foundation, based in Skaneateles, have recently partnered to offer free personal training to cancer survivors.
Through this partnership, cancer survivors, cancer patients and family members of cancer patients from anywhere will be able to get free one-on-one personal training at Gazella and, if they are ready, free group fitness such as yoga or spinning classes.
“I feel really privileged to be a part of this program and to help people. I’ve known so many cancer survivors and I’m amazed by their strength and their fortitude,” Gazella Training and Fintess owner Reem Jishi said.
The assistance given to Gazella comes in the form of a $5,000 grant, but Gazella is also giving a discount, so that the money will pay for more classes than it would at normal prices, Jishi said.
Gazella has been a supporter of Alive since the beginning. Both years Gazella has organized and sponsored a team to participate in Ride for Alive! Those teams have raised more than $15,000 for the foundation.
Gazella is a fitting place for cancer survivors because it offers one-on-one consultations with personal trainers and its location outside the village makes for better privacy and comfort, Jishi said.
The Gazella trainers are all certified by the American College of Sports Medicine and many have taken classes or participated in continuing education to learn more about instructing cancer survivors.
The fitness needs of a cancer survivor can vary greatly from person to person, which is why personal consultations are an important first step, Jishi said.
The Alive! Foundation was first founded in 2012 by Skaneateles resident Julia Wamp, herself a cancer survivor, and husband Michael.
One of the goals of the foundation is to allocate money to businesses and community groups to provide assistance to cancer survivors, so the partnership with Gazella is hopefully the first of many, Wamp said.
The grant will be ongoing and Gazella will likely apply for more funding when they use up the current allotment, she said.
The foundation also offers a free yoga program at Saltfit in Skaneateles, which runs two sessions per year and includes three classes a week.
Fitness is important for cancer survivors, as research has shown that getting active and exercising reduces the risk of having the disease occur again, Alive! Foundation board members and Gazella trainer Maggie Thompson said.
The foundation programs focus on getting resources and offering programs to cancer survivors so they can learn about good nutrition and fitness and take the steps to get on with their post-cancer lives, Wamp said.
According to its website Alive’s mission is “to educate and empower cancer survivors to live healthier, happier lives. Alive! develops and funds programs in local communities that help cancer survivors to live well by focusing on movement, exercise, and nutrition while promoting cancer survivorship nationwide.”
Their biggest annual fundraiser is the Ride for Alive! bike ride held in July of each year. The ride follows a 100-mile course around Skaneateles, Otisco and Owasco lakes, though there are also 10, 25 and 50 mile courses available for less-experienced cyclists.
Anyone interested in signing up for the free training or classes can find more information by visiting gazellatraining.com. For more information on the foundation, yoga classes or the Ride for Alive! visit alivefound.org.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.