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Jun 18, 2015 4:44 PM ET

Archived: Support Strength & Courage: helps thousands of women regain strength and mobility after breast cancer treatment

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 18, 2015

Support Strength & Courage

Our Story

Strength & Courage, a non-profit effort, provides exercise resources to breast cancer survivors looking to regain physical and emotional strength after treatment. Our goal is to enable each woman to return to the life she knew before breast cancer. We do this by working directly with survivors and urging health care providers to make rehabilitation a priority in the treatment process.

“Thank you so much for the DVD. This is my second copy and I have donated it to the Breast Care Program at Kaiser Permanente clinic in San Francisco. The exercises have really helped me and I know will help others.”

The Strength & Courage: Exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors DVD was developed by Dr. Sharon Cowden, a pediatrician, avid golfer and breast cancer survivor, and Janette Poppenberg, a ACSM/ACS certified Cancer Exercise Trainer® certified by the American College of Sports Medicine to help women achieve a full recovery after breast cancer surgery.

In 2002, while working together to help Sharon in her recovery, Janette and Sharon came up with the idea of an exercise DVD to help other breast cancer survivors. Their shared dream was that the program would reach as many women as possible, especially in their region, Southwest Pennsylvania. To help women in all socioeconomic groups, the program would be offered free or at minimum cost.

After five years of hard work, in 2007, the Strength & Courage: Exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors DVD was launched as a non-profit effort.

Global Reach

Since the launch, they have distributed more than 20,000 copies of their DVD copies worldwide. The development of a downloadable version of the exercise program has also increased the reach of this group.  In fact, the exercise program has been viewed in far reaches such as Iceland, Myanmar, Argentina, Nigeria, Turkey, Lithuania & Faroe Islands, an archipelago of Denmark.

“Before my surgery, I was only given a hand out about exercises! It’s so great to have your DVD, it’s so much easier to follow than written instructions.” 

Reaching Hispanics

In 2015, Strength & Courage received a generous donation to produce a Spanish speaking version of their exercise program. With 329 million native speakers, Spanish ranks as the world’s No. 2 language in terms of how many people speak it as their first language. It is slightly ahead of English (328 million) but far behind Chinese (1.2 billion). (Source: Ethnologue).  According to Cancer.org, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Hispanic women.  (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures for Hispanics/Latinos 2012-2014; Cancer.org)

“I can’t tell you how much this DVD has meant to me! I’ve been struggling ever since to regain use of my right arm. I have several friends who have had mastectomies and they’ve been extremely supportive, but none of them had any difficulty with strength and flexibility. I thought that I was the only one in the world who had these problems. Now I no longer feel alone and I have a plan for improvement. I’m finally confident that I’ll be able to do the things that I enjoy once again. Thank you so much for all that you do!” 

Reaching Out

While the generous donation will enable Strength & Courage to translate the existing DVD and re-film a new introduction as well as Hispanic breast cancer survivors, it will not help spread the word about its availability.

That is why Strength & Courage is asking for your support in raising $25,000 in order to distribute 3,000 DVDs to breast cancer clinics that specialize in treating Hispanic women. The $25,000 will also help raise awareness about the availability of the downloadable file that any breast cancer survivor can purchase for a modest price of $20.

All of the exercises featured in the program can be done in the privacy of your own home and are designed specifically to help women recovering from breast cancer surgery regain their strength and mobility.

For more information about Strength & Courage, visit: http://www.strengthandcourage.net.


Contact Information:

Sharon Cowden-Strengthandcourage

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