About Us

Mission Statement

Team Survivor Northwest’s mission is to provide a broad range of fitness and health education programs to enable all women who have had a cancer diagnosis to take an active role in their ongoing physical and emotional healing.

Our Vision

We believe in a world in which every woman who has had a cancer diagnosis has the resources and support to return to her best physical and emotional well-being.

Thriving. Together.

 Empowering women who have had a cancer diagnosis to thrive through fitness, education and community.

What we offer

Classes & Fitness Programs – FREE

  • Dragon Boating
  • Fitness Classes
  • Hiking Groups
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Outdoor Cycling
  • Triathlon Training
  • Walking Groups

Events & Other Opportunities

  • Fitness Retreat
  • Spanish-Speaking Class
  • Snowshoeing Outing
  • Health Education
  • Social Connection
  • Volunteer Opportunities

The Impact of Fitness on Cancer

The research is clear that exercise during and after cancer treatment saves lives. Exercise has been shown to:

  • Increase treatment effectiveness
  • Reduce side-effects like fatigue, anxiety and depression
  • Increase self-esteem, happiness and quality of life
  • Reduce risk of cancer recurrence by up to 40%
  • Increase cancer survival rate by up to 50%

Why this works

TSNW takes an active approach to healing by creating community through fitness programs that are healthy, safe, fun and free. Women come for the health benefits but stay for decades because they are part of a community.  TSNW’s programs are not only a means to recovery, they bring the meaning to recovery. 


All our instructors are experienced trainers with understanding of cancer specific needs. Program delivery is mindful of the physical and emotional sensitivities surrounding cancer. TSNW can help you start exercising at your current level and build up your strength and endurance with Cancer Exercise certified instructors.

Guiding Principles


Serving all women, without regard to race, age, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, physical or mental disability, financial means, or religion, with any type of cancer diagnosis, at any fitness and skill level.


Exercising in an open environment allows members to acquire physical strength, skill and stamina while building community.


Providing high quality, cancer certified instructors and presenters keeps members safe.


Giving support and confidence provides hope for future
triumph and offers a positive and promising environment.

Our History

In 1995, a group of women cancer survivors in Seattle decided to train for a triathlon. They asked Dr. Julie Gralow, a local oncologist, to serve as their team physician. During the training process, Dr. Gralow was both inspired by the tenacity and strength of these women and amazed at the physical and psychological benefits that the women gained through training.

“Engaging in regular physical activity is the single most valuable thing a cancer survivor can do to rebuild both physical and emotional strength.”

– Dr. Julie Gralow

Dr. Gralow continued to meet women cancer survivors looking for fun, interesting ways to improve their overall fitness. To teach women cancer survivors how to use exercise for physical and emotional recovery, she partnered with Lisa Talbott, a fitness and therapeutic exercise specialist, to found Team Survivor Northwest (TSNW). Today, TSNW offers year-round fitness opportunities for all women cancer survivors.


Recovering from cancer is a fragile time in a person’s life. Chemo, radiation and other cancer treatments wreak havoc on the body resulting in altered physical appearance as well as decreased stamina and strength. Combined, these often leave survivors feeling vulnerable. We’ve found that women are much more inclined to show up and participate in fitness programs with other women who have been through similar body changes and experiences. This decision was not designed to be exclusive, but to ensure that women cancer survivors feel welcomed and safe during this fragile time in their life.

women holding signs thanking tsnw

Thousands of women cancer survivors have participated in TSNW’s free fitness and health education programs. Team Survivor Northwest programs are open to all women with a past or present diagnosis of cancer. Members range in age from twenty to eighty. Participants are as varied as the activities they enjoy, but they are all bound by the common desire to take an active role in their physical and emotional well-being.

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