Give the Gift of 'Strength and Courage' for Mother's Day

Friday, April 16, 2010 General News
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PITTSBURGH, April 15 As Mother's Day approaches, many organizations are set to host fundraising events to benefit the thousands of individuals and families affected by breast cancer each year. These organizations not only honor those who have been lost to this tragic illness, but raise money to find a cure and provide support to survivors. One such non-profit program, Strength and Courage: Exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors, focuses on helping breast cancer survivors regain strength and mobility during and following breast cancer treatment.

The nationally recognized Strength and Courage: Exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors DVD strives to enhance a woman's ability to lead an active life following breast cancer surgery. "Many breast cancer survivors receive little to no guidance on post-surgery exercises," said Janette Poppenberg, ACSM( )certified Health Fitness Specialist and co-creator of Strength and Courage. "They can face numerous physical and emotional challenges after treatment such as loss of upper body strength, muscle tone and flexibility as well as fatigue, depression and decreased self esteem."

Dr. Sharon Cowden and Poppenberg teamed up to create a solution that encourages women to lead an active life after surgery through a strategic exercise program designed to help survivors regain upper body strength and flexibility.

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 2002," said Cowden, co-creator of Strength and Courage. "After surgery, I lost some of my shoulder movement and strength I once had which made professional and recreational activities -- such as working with children and golfing -- difficult. The exercises demonstrated on this DVD helped me to resume all of these activities. After going through this process, Janette and I had the idea to develop an exercise DVD that would help other survivors regain their strength as well."

Cowden and Poppenberg did just that, by developing an exercise regimen specifically geared towards breast cancer survivors. Collaborating with national and regional experts, Cowden and Poppenberg produced a DVD that enables a survivor to regain physical strength which can lead to increased confidence and improved self-esteem.

The featured exercises increase muscle strength and flexibility which can result in reducing fatigue during and after treatment. Designed to be part of a home care exercise regimen, the exercises can be started as soon as one day after surgery and users can work at their own pace to resume full range of motion.

The DVD retails for $20 with $5 going directly to the Breast Cancer Research and Education Fund at Magee-Women's Foundation, based in Pittsburgh. To date, more than 9,000 DVDs have been distributed in 45 states and 8 countries, including Myanmar (formerly Burma) and South Africa. To order a copy or to learn more about Strength and Courage: Exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors, visit

SOURCE Strength and Courage

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