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The Wellness For Life Program

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Incorporate a focus on mind, body, and spirit into your care from the day you walk through our doors. 

We are committed to integrating wellness components into your treatment and helping you make healthy lifestyle changes. We want you to feel empowered and to regain a sense of control over your cancer. 

Cultivating healthy habits is especially important for those living with cancer and can help you build strength, reduce the severity of side effects, reduce risks of developing secondary cancers or other health issues, and enjoy life more. Research shows that by integrating physical activity, proper nutrition, and mind, body, and spirit awareness, you can feel better and reduce the side effects of cancer treatment such as nausea, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and weight gain.

In keeping with our mission of providing comprehensive care with a commitment to optimal quality of life for patients and families, RCC has partnered with experts at the Glenwood YMCA, BLOOM Collaborative, Hope on Horseback Therapeutic Riding Center and The Village of Healing and Wellness to offer supportive, holistic classes in a nurturing and spacious environments.

Classes offered through the Wellness for Life program provide the additional support and knowledge you need during and after your treatment. Anyone who is living with cancer or a support person can attend free of charge. 

A copy of the full Wellness for Life Brochure can be downloaded here:

Ensure your Healthcare Wishes are Honored

Help comfort your family by clarifying your medical wishes. Join Dr. Ferdinando Mirarchi for a Lunch and Learn on how you can create your own MIDEO card - a powerful tool carried in your wallet for medical teams to scan and watch a video of you explaining your healthcare wishes. Dr. Mirachi will walk you through the process of creating a clear and concise medical directive. 

Friday, Sept. 14 from Noon to 1 p.m.
Location: West Conference Room

Fresh Fall Holiday Pairings

Just in time for the holiday season, Chef David Turko, MS, RD, LDN, will provide cooking tips that focus on quick, healthy prep techniques, fall vegetable pairings, healthy grains, and lean meat selections that you can take home and easily implement into your routine. 

Wednesday, Nov. 14 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Location: Whole Foods Co-Op — 1341 W. 26th St., Erie, PA 16508 

Intro to Loose Leaf Tea

This talk will introduce the types of common tea methods for brewing loose leaf tea, basic blending tisanes (herb based teas) and a brief history of tea. Come prepared to taste as Kellea and Kristy join us from Chicory Hill Herbs. Space is limited. 

Friday, Oct. 5 at 11 a.m.
Location: Wellness for Life Space at RCC


All events are free of charge and offered to cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors. Please register. Space is limited.

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Functional Fitness

Get your body moving in the comfort of RCC’s Wellness for Life Space. If you’re ready to get in better shape but, aren’t sure how to start, this is the class for you. You will work with Jake Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer, using your own body weight, resistance bands, medicine balls and kettle bells to increase strength, endurance, and flexibility. Jake will keep you motivated and on the right track towards better health as you work at your own level. 

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
Location: Wellness for Life Space at RCC
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online

Instructor: Jake Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer with REAL Fitness

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can improve your quality of life by managing the side effects of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and hormonal therapies, reducing pain and inflammation, improving sleep, supporting normal digestive function and reducing stress. Scheduling preference will be given to those who are currently receiving radiation or chemotherapy treatment. Contact Amy Van Scoter at (814) 836 -2643 to register. 

Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sept. 5, Oct. 3, and Nov. 7. There will be no December appointments. 

Instructor: Maki Kurata, Licensed Acupuncturist

Space is limited and preference will be given to those currently undergoing radiation treatment or chemotherapy. 

Massage

Massage therapy can help reduce anxiety and pain, decrease nausea, improve energy and well-being, and provide a deeply relaxing experience. Lisa Mertz, LMT and Anita Gray, LMT are both trained in oncology massage. Scheduling preference will be given to those who are currently receiving radiation or chemotherapy treatment. Contact Amy Van Scoter at (814) 836 -2643 to register.  

Mondays and Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Instructor: Lisa Mertz, LMT
Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 19, and Dec. 17
Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, and Dec. 12 

Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to Noon
Instructor: Anita Gray, LMT
Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 28, and Dec. 26
Sept. 7, Oct. 12, Nov. 9, and Dec. 7 

Space is limited and preference will be given to those currently undergoing radiation treatment or chemotherapy. 

Reiki

Reiki is a system of natural healing that involves channeling energy to enhance the body’s natural ability to heal itself through relaxation and balancing of energy. Reiki treatments can help promote deep relaxation, decrease stress and anxiety, help dissolve energy blockages, and release tension. The session may involve light touch or hovering the hands an inch above the body. Contact Amy Van Scoter at (814) 836 -2643 to register. 

Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Wellness for Life Space at RCC

Instructor: Nancy Bowden, Reiki Master/Teacher 

Space is limited and preference will be given to those currently undergoing radiation treatment or chemotherapy. 

Rest and Renew — Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is a style of yoga that balances the mind, body, and spirit. This six-week sesries will focus on stress management techniques including gentle yoga poses, meditation, breathing practices, imagry, and guided deep relaxation. Feel free to bring your own blanket, yoga mat and pillow if you wish. 

Mondays from 11 a.m. to Noon
Sept. 10, 17, 24, Oct. 1, 8, and 15
Location: Wellness for Life Space at RCC
To Register: Contact Amy Van Scoter at (814) 836-2643 or register online.

Instructor: Julia Hamilton, Certified Yoga Therapist

Space is limited and preference will be given to those currently undergoing radiation treatment or chemotherapy. 

Sound Healing for the Soul

Sound healing can clear your energy centers, balance your mind, and energize your spirit. Nancy uses ancient energetic techniques and Tibetan Singing Bowl practices to restore energy and promote healing. Nancy will end the session with a peaceful, deeply restorative sound healing, vibrational relaxation. 

Monday, Oct. 15 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 12 from 5 to 6 p.m.

Location: Main Conference Room at RCC 
To Register: Contact Amy Van Scoter at (814) 836-2643 or register online.

Instructor: Nancy Bowden, Certified Sound Healer

Space is limited and preference will be given to those currently undergoing radiation treatment or chemotherapy. 

Circle of Hope Yarn Group

Working with yarn relaxes the body and can be a great tool to reduce stress. If you knit, crochet, or are interested in learning, please join this casual group open to all cancer patients, caregivers and support people. All beginning supplies are provided at no cost. If you are experienced, please bring in your projects and be ready to meet new friends.

Every Thursday from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Location: Wellness for Life space at RCC
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online.

Open Art Therapy Studio

This informal group will allow you to reflect, relax, and have fun while participating in different art projects and learning positive ways to help cope with stress. No prior art experience is needed, all levels are welcome.

Mondays from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Location: Wellness for Life space at RCC
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online.

Tobacco Cessation

If you are ready to quit, let us help you. This six-week course offers support and will teach you the tools you need to break the habit.

Tuesdays from 10 to 11 a.m.
Location: Wellness for Life Space at RCC
To Register: Call Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online.

Instructor: Jordan Chirpak, Tobacco Cessation Educator/Wellness Coordinator, Multicultural Community Resource Center

Wellness for Life Caregiver Lunch and Learn

Are you a primary caregiver to someone dealing with cancer? We invite you to The Regional Cancer Center’s Caregiver Lunch & Learn. Learn about the ABC’s of care giving and what resources are available to you and for you. Bring your own insight, thoughts, and concerns as you meet other caregivers and support staff from RCC. 

Second Monday of every month from Noon to 1 p.m.
Location: Main Conference Room
Lunch will be provided.

Contact Ann Marie Cronk, RCC Social Worker at (814) 836-2618 to register or for more information.

The Breast Cancer Support Group

This group is an opportunity for women to gather for support, to share concerns and exchange information in a caring environment. Guest speakers are occasionally scheduled to educate women on subjects of interest.  

Third Wednesday of every month from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Contact Maryann Frontino, RCC Social Worker, at 814-836-2636 to register or for more information.
RSVP required 24 hours in advance.

CLIMB (Children's Lives Include Moments of Bravery)

This group is for children ages 5-12 who have a parent, grandparent or loved one diagnosed with cancer. The goal of the group is to help children understand cancer and related treatments as well as help them to express their feelings and concerns. A tour of RCC is provided and participants complete art projects that focus on particular emotions related to a cancer diagnosis in the family.

Contact Ann Marie Cronk, RCC Social Worker at (814) 836-2618 to register or for more information.


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BLOOM is located on a four-acre oasis in the center of Erie. Participants begin to heal the instant they step on campus, influenced by the picturesque surroundings. An atmosphere of fresh air, running water, colorful gardens and unique architecture together inspire visitors before even taking a class.

To register: Call RCC’s Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643 or register online.
You must commit to the complete 4-week session. Space is limited.

Healing with Clay Pottery Class

Join instructor Jessie Simmons and learn how to “mold” more peace into your life and reduce stress by learning the art of pottery. While working with clay, your mind and body are in natural synergy, wrapped around your creative ambitions and goals. Pottery is often described as therapeutic and relaxing; this thoughtful, artistic activity can open the mind and relieve you of outside worries. 

Mondays, Sept. 17 - Oct. 8 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. 

Please Note: This 4-week class will take place at BLOOM Collaborative’s clay studio, BLOSSOM’s at 138 East 25th St. 

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Hope on Horseback provides horse-related activities to help overcome physical, psychological and emotional hurdles. This new program is designed to help patients improve their health and overall quality of life in a soothing, non-threatening environment. 

Hope on Horseback Course

During this seven-week semester, participants will bond with horses for improved emotional well-being, assist with grooming by learning to brush manes and saddle a horse, and participate in riding lessons. Certified instructors and trained volunteers will be on hand to assist riders as they learn proper riding techniques and participate in games and activities. 

To register: Call RCC’s Wellness for Life office at (814) 836-2643. You must set up an appointment to fill out registration forms. Space is limited. 

Mondays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 
Sept. 10, 17, 24, Oct. 1, 8, 15, and 22 

Please Note:  This series takes place at Hope on Horseback, 7280 Sterrettania Rd. in Fairview. Participants are responsible for transportation. 

To register for any of the below classes, please visit the Registration Desk IN PERSON at the Glenwood YMCA. If you are a current WFL/YMCA participant, you maybe call (814) 868-0867 to register. Please inform the Y what class(es) you are interested in and that you are a Wellness for Life participant.

All classes will take place at the Glenwood YMCA’s Holistic Center (Glenwood YMCA, 3727 Cherry Street, Erie, PA 16508).

Restorative Yoga and Beyond

This practice combines movements to help increase physical strength, stamina and mental focus to reduce the effects of chronic stress. It stimulates and soothes the organs by providing a complete supportive environment for total relaxation. 

Tuesdays from Noon to 1 p.m.

  • Session 1: Sept. 11 - Oct. 23
  • Session 2: Nov. 6 - Dec. 18 

Instructor: Ledys Negron, CYT, RTM

Chair Yoga

A gentle approach to yoga using seated as well as standing postures. Stretch and strengthen your muscles while lubricating your joints. Learn to deepen your breath and quiet your thoughts. Start where you are – no prior yoga experience needed.

Thursdays from Noon to 1 p.m.

  • Session 1: Sept. 13 - Oct. 25
  • Session 2: Nov. 8 - Dec. 20 (No class on Thanksgiving day)

Instructor: Chris Sanner, CYT 

Gentle Yoga

Whether you are new to yoga or looking to revitalize your practice, this class provides you with the tools & inspiration you need to make yoga, and its benefits, a regular part of your life. 

Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.

  • Session 1: Sept. 13 - Oct. 25
  • Session 2: Nov. 8 - Dec. 20 (No class on Thanksgiving day)

Instructor: Kim Yam, CYT

Strength and Courage

This class aims to preserve muscle tone and joint motion, combat treatment related side effects, increase energy & self-confidence. The class will be held in YMCA’s Comfort Zone, a smaller more secluded area that includes exercise bikes, treadmill, and simple to use strength equipment. Strength & Courage will incorporate a little of everything. 

Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

  • Session 1: Sept. 10 - Oct. 24
  • Session 2: Nov. 5 - Dec. 19

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m.

  • Session 1: Sept. 11 - Oct. 25
  • Session 2: Nov. 6 - Dec. 20 (No class on Thanksgiving day)

Instructor: Glen Conner, CPT

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Sifu Fred Popeski, 5th Generation of the Wu Yi Jie He Family System, has studied the martial arts since 1992 with Tai Chi as his main area of interest. He is a Certified Quantum Touch Practitioner and Certified Instructor, which is a natural healing modality.

The combination of Mind Body Healing and Wu Yi Jie He Family System is a great benefit not only for himself but for his clients as well. Fred stresses that while a healing session can be beneficial, Tai Chi and Q iGong allows the client to participate in their own well-being. Fred continues his training with Sifu George Picard, a Four Generation Master of the Wu Yi Jie He Family System. 

Qi Gong for Health, Healing and Longevity

QiGong is a combination of two ideas. “Qi” means air, breath of life, or vital energy of the body. “Gong” means the skill of working with, or cultivating self-discipline and achievement. It consists of meditation, relaxation, physical movement, mind-body integration, and breathing exercises. Regular practice of QiGong can help boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, restore energy, reduce stress and anxiety, and help maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

Please Note: This seven-week class is for both men and women and takes place at The Village of Healing & Wellness in the Colony Plaza, 2558 West 8th St., Erie, PA. 

Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to Noon

  • Session 1: Sept. 11 - Oct. 23
  • Session 2: Nov. 6 - Dec. 11