Generosity – a little goes a long way
Recently, at Fitlab in Toowoomba, 22 June in fact, 20 women who had been through breast cancer treatment held a fund raiser, Calories for Cancer, to raise funds for a programme, Fight Back with Fitness, which they had all been through at no cost. This pilot programme was funded by Blush (a not for profit organisation to support women diagnosed with breast cancer in the Toowoomba and greater Darling Downs region), FitLab and Qld XRay.
What has this to do with Masters Swimming? It’s that little bit of generosity. QTW Toowoomba Tadpoles donated enough money to enable another woman to go through the 12 week exercise programme.
There is now significant scientific evidence that the right type, intensity and frequency of regular exercise HALVES the number of relapses in breast cancer. Relapses are a key plank in managing this disease. For example, a common breast cancer, oestrogen positive with lymph node involvement, has a good overall rate of survival, but if the patient relapses, this drops to only a 50:50 chance of survival.
Fight back with Fitness was a pilot programme to use established science to dramatically reduce relapse rates in breast cancer patients. The women undertook tailored exercise by Exercise Physiologists at Fitlab, three times a week, for 12 weeks. Qld XRay donated pilot funding and DEXA scans. Over the course of these 12 weeks, the women achieved remarkable clinical outcomes with a losses of from 3-9kg of body fat, and a gain in muscle mass of 2-6kg. Uniquely the program has 70% retention of participants continuing with exercise following their 12 week free programme (standard gym retention rates are 15%).
I hope this reinforces the wonderful benefits of regular exercise, and maybe sparks similar programs in other parts of Queensland. My wife Rosemary Grundy, was one of the original participants in this program, and it has made a significant impact on her and our family’s life. Again, thank you Toowoomba Tadpoles for your generous hearts.
by Gerry Little, QTW member.