Our mission at Team Survivor Northwest is to provide a broad range of fitness and health education programs to enable women cancer survivors, in any stage of treatment or recovery and at any fitness level, to take an active role in their ongoing physical and emotional healing.
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.
Empowering women who have a cancer diagnosis to thrive through group fitness, health and wellness services.
What we offer
Programs are offered free of charge
- Fitness Classes
- Dragon boating
- Walking Programs
- Fitness retreats
- Virtual Fitness Challenges
- Mountain climbing
- Triathlon training
The Impact of Fitness on Cancer
The research is becoming more clear that exercise during and after cancer treatment saves lives. Exercise during and after cancer treatment has been shown to:
- reduce risk of cancer recurrence
- reduce risk of death
- reduce treatment side-effects
- increase treatment effectiveness
- improve fatigue, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, happiness, and quality of life in cancer survivors
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 that supports and understands them. They feel in control of their lives again. Team Survivor’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. Team Survivor can help you start exercising at your current level and build up your strength and endurance with Cancer Exercise certified instructors.
We serve all women, without regard to race, age, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, physical or mental disability, or religion, with any type of cancer diagnosis, at any fitness and skill level.
Our programs are free of charge. Programs are offered in various locations within the Puget Sound Region. We will soon be adding our first fitness class taught in Spanish in an effort to serve more women.
We continually share with our community, through a variety of methods, important and emerging information related to cancer survivorship.
We seek to provide opportunities for women cancer survivors to forge lifelong friendships through shared experiences. The TSNW community is unique, empowering and inspiring.
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.
WHY FOCUS ONLY ON WOMEN?
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.
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.