Stress, anxiety and poor nutrition are common among people undergoing treatment for cancer. Patients and their families are often unaware that relaxation, meditation, and exercise may increase survivorship. In addition, many patients and families do not have regular access to foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Our Wellness concept is research based. Survivorship and quality of life are improved through good nutrition, relaxation, meditation and exercise.
We have implemented two programs that introduce the Wellness concept to cancer patients and their families.
The Smoothie Day Program provides a nutritious snack and a healthy break from the world of cancer. SGAYA funds the cost of yogurt and fresh fruit to create smoothies for patients and families. In addition, through our contacts at Vitamix, two powerful blenders were donated to the Hematology Oncology (HEMONC) floor at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
Twice a month hospital staff members create delicious smoothies for patients and families.
According to Danielle Cook Navidi (2012) smoothies “provide tasty and refreshing nourishment for children who often are reluctant eat due to pain and nausea”. Parents and caregivers enjoy the respite and social interaction while still being in close proximity to their ill family members.
Throughout the year we distribute Be Calm & Stay Strong Wellness Bags to YA (young adult) cancer patients. Most of our connections come from Rainbow Babies and Children’s hospital and the Cleveland Clinic. But we answer the call when a Wellness Bag is requested.
The Be Calm & Stay Strong Wellness Bag consists of tools to encourage good health and positive spirit. These tools include a Meditation and Relaxation CD, iTunes and Target gift cards, Ear Buds and an iPod, a battery operated votive candle, a portable aromatherapy infuser and lavender essential oil, an exercise band, medicine box, hand cream, tissues, hand sanitizer, Scentsy Travel tin, National Institute of Cancer Research nutritional information, books and encouragement: All packaged in a spacious and sturdy canvas bag with our logo and motto – fight conquer cure.
Each bag costs $125, but are free to patients. We depend on the generosity of our contributors (like you!) to cover the costs of all the items. Each patient receives an encouraging note card that includes the name of the contributor. We think it is a thoughtful way to remind the patient to hang in there during this tough time.
If you are interested in contributing to our Be Calm & Stay Strong Wellness Program please visit our donation page.
In an article from CONQUER: the Patient Voice, Pat Kreuger (February, 2015) writes that yoga “supports the body, mind, and spirit of patients with cancer and their caregivers during and beyond treatment.” Yoga helps with promoting relaxation, bone strength and a sense of calm. For individuals interested in learning more about Cancer and Yoga please check out the following resources: