TSNW & Cancer News

TSNW is committed to keeping our members up to date on the latest cancer and fitness-related news. Check this page often for updated articles, community events and TSNW spotlights in local media.

barbara on top of mt st helens with poles up in celebration
TSNW SPOTLIGHT: RENTON REPORTER

Featuring TSNW’s “Move to Heal” Program with Spoonfed Training & Damaris Pearson

“Witherspoon first started with TSNW as a fitness instructor in early 2023 at the organization’s annual fitness retreat, which are two-day events complete with speakers, fitness instructors, nutrition classes, catered meals and even crafting options.

For Damaris Pearson, who recently became a TSNW member, the latest retreat on Bainbridge Island was nothing short of amazing.”

To read the article in its entirety, click on the button below.

TSNW feature: Good Morning America

Featuring barbara Travers & Jennefer Boyer

Good Morning America is shining the national spotlight on Team Survivor Northwest! In a segment that aired on Memorial Day 2023, the iconic morning show highlighted our Mountain Climbing program and some of the inspiring women who participated in the 2022 Mount St. Helens climb and fundraiser. Executive Director Jennefer Boyer and member Barbara Travers flew to New York to discuss the powerful impact of Team Survivor’s programs and the inspiring community that makes this organization so special.

To watch the segment, click on the button below.

barbara on top of mt st helens with poles up in celebration
TSNW Spotlight: Greet Newcastle & Newport Hills magazine

Greet: Newcastle & Newport Hills Magazine featured Team Survivor Northwest on its October 2023 cover! A special thanks to members Amy Robertson and Jo Gartenberg for sharing their inspiring stories.

When you hear the word cancer, you may think of chemo, radiation, surgery, and hardship. But at Team Survivor Northwest, cancer means climbing mountains, weekly hiking and walking groups, sweating it out in fitness classes, paddling in Dragon Boat races, and training for triathlons…

“The comment that I hear the most from our members is how they never realized a cancer group could be such a positive place. They love being around others who get what they are going through without having to explain anything, without others feeling pity toward them, and often without even having to talk about cancer unless it comes up naturally in conversation,” says Executive Director Jennefer Boyer. “They can be themselves.”

These words ring true for member and Newcastle resident Amy Robertson, who was diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer in April 2020 – two weeks into the COVID-19 lockdown.

“I felt like I had cancer behind closed doors because of COVID,” Robertson says.

In addition to chemo, radiation, and a mastectomy, Robertson also developed heart failure. A former collegiate athlete, she felt beaten down by her inability to walk without fatigue. That’s when her oncologist encouraged her to join Team Survivor, which was hosting online fitness classes in the wake of the pandemic.

“The first class I took was so hard, but Toshiko (the instructor) was so supportive and kind. Heart failure made it difficult to do anything, but I kept going and continued to get stronger,” Robertson says. “I thought it would be sign on, exercise, and leave, but it’s so much more than that. As I got more involved in more exercise classes I felt better. I realized I wasn’t alone.”

To read the article in its entirety, click on the button below.

barbara on top of mt st helens with poles up in celebration
TSNW Spotlight: Greet Kirkland magazine

Team Survivor Northwest was featured in Greet: Kirkland Magazine and we are honored to share the piece with our community. 

When you hear the word cancer, you may think of chemo, radiation, surgery, and hardship. But at Team Survivor Northwest, cancer means climbing mountains, weekly hiking and walking groups, sweating it out in fitness classes, paddling in Dragon Boat races, and training for triathlons.

Team Survivor is a local nonprofit organization that provides free health, fitness, and wellness programs to women who have had a cancer diagnosis. Whether in active treatment, remission, or facing a new diagnosis, these women reclaim their power by moving their bodies and healing their hearts together.

“The comment that I hear the most from our members is how they never realized a cancer group could be such a positive place. They love being around others who get what they are going through without having to explain anything, without others feeling pity toward them, and often without even having to talk about cancer unless it comes up naturally in conversation,” says Executive Director Jennefer Boyer. “They can be themselves.”

These words ring true for member and Kirkland resident Barbara Travers, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in July of 2019. Her battle included surgeries, radiation, chemo, and ultimately a stem-cell transplant, and the last thing she wanted to do was sit around and talk about her cancer.

“I totally get commiserating about cancer, but I didn’t want to talk about it – I wanted to get beyond it,” Travers says.

In 2021, Travers was looking for a way to get active again, and that’s when her nurse emphatically suggested Team Survivor Northwest. At first, she participated in several online fitness classes, and slowly regained strength. When she heard that Team Survivor’s Mountain Climbing group was going to tackle Mount St. Helens in the summer of 2022, she felt called to join.

To read the article in its entirety, click on the button below.

barbara on top of mt st helens with poles up in celebration
TSNW Member Spotlight: swedish blog

Featuring barbara Travers

TSNW member Barbara Travers was recently profiled in the Swedish Cancer Team Blog! Barbara shared her journey from a cancer diagnosis to the top of Mount St. Helens.

When Barbara Travers, 66, climbed Mount St. Helens in August, she knew from the very start that she’d make it to the top.

Sure, she’d never climbed a mountain before, but she’d trained hard and knew what to expect.

Barbara, her fellow hikers and a guide made it through the forest and up the 2.5 miles of boulders together. Then, when they hit the last mile of vertical gravel and sand, one of the hikers started struggling with the steep terrain. “Our guide told me to keep going,” recalls Barbara. “She said, ‘I can see you. Keep going.’ So, I did.”

When she was halfway up the last mile, Barbara burst into tears: “I was all alone. It was so difficult hiking up what felt like a giant sandhill. As I looked up at the summit and saw the rest of my team cheering me on, I lost it. I knew at that moment I was going to make it. When I did, it felt like I was on top of the world. It was a monumental achievement. But so is beating cancer.”

To read the article in its entirety, click on the button below.

barbara on top of mt st helens with poles up in celebration
How to get the best walking workout — whether you have 5 minutes or 40

 

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. It requires no equipment, can be done anywhere and has a plethora of benefits for our physical and mental health. Research even shows that walking more as a society could reduce rates of chronic disease.

Because it is an activity we all do every day, walking is often overlooked as a serious form of exercise. Even just a short walk each day is linked to health benefits and there are so many ways to supercharge your walk and make it an even more efficient, calorie-burning workout.

Many people think that walking for exercise isn’t worth it unless you can set aside a substantial amount of time, but that’s not true! Whether you have five minutes, 20 minutes, or over 40 minutes, you can shift your focus to get the best possible workout in whatever time you have to hit the pavement.

To read the article in its entirety, click on the button below.
barbara on top of mt st helens with poles up in celebration
tsnw spotlight: Seattle Times

Featuring the mount st. helens climbers

Our inspiring Mountain Climbers were recently profiled in a moving Seattle Times piece! It’s a must-read story, so don’t miss it. Here’s a preview:

Halfway up the defeating ash field on Mount St. Helens in August, Barbara Travers saw 19 members of her group already at the mountain’s summit. Travers, now 66, was the second-to-last hiker and the second-oldest member of the group. Six hours into the climb, she was exhausted and feeling the altitude. She couldn’t hear her friends but knew they were cheering for her; that encouragement gave Travers the boost she needed to make it to the mountaintop. As Travers neared the summit, several members rushed to greet her, and she broke down, suddenly realizing the magnitude of the moment: She was at the top of a volcano. 

It was the most amazing feeling I’ve ever felt,” she said. “Almost as good as beating cancer.'”

 

To read the article in its entirety, click on the button below.
woman climber on top of a mountain
TSNW Spotlight: Seattle Times

Featuring jo Gartenberg

The Seattle Times recently featured our very own Jo Gartenberg in a series about PNW women in the outdoors! Here’s a preview:

In December of 2017, I heard those dreaded words, ‘you have cancer.’ This was the start of a journey that led to a mastectomy, chemo, radiation, more surgeries and ongoing medication. It was such a scary time, and I wondered how I would get through. During chemo, I discovered Team Survivor — a nonprofit that provides free health and fitness programs to women with a cancer diagnosis. I attended the annual retreat and signed up to climb Mount Adams with the group, even though we had minimal climbing experience. I wasn’t sure how I, a mid-50 mother of three, was going to get through cancer, let alone climb a 12,000-foot mountain carrying a 45-pound pack and camp in the snow…‘”

 

 

To read the article in its entirety, click on the button below.
female triathlon competitors
TSNW Spotlight: Seattle marathon

Featuring Nina Fogg

The Seattle Marathon featured TSNW as a Charity Partner for its November 2021 race. As part of the program, the Seattle Marathon included an article about TSNW and our own Nina Fogg in its eNewsletter. Here’s a preview:

“When Nina Fogg was in her 50s, she didn’t know what a triathlon was. It wasn’t until she had breast cancer and joined Team Survivor Northwest that she not only learned about triathlons but couldn’t get enough of them!
Since then, over the last 26 years, Nina has completed more than 80 triathlons, 8 marathons (including the Seattle Marathon 4 times) and countless other races. She’s been an active member of Team Survivor Northwest – a Seattle nonprofit that provides free health and fitness programs to women who have had a cancer diagnosis – since its conception more than 25 years ago.

‘I love staying in shape and having someone else be there to encourage me and push me through it,” Nina said. “You have all these teammates show up and inspire you. That’s the best part. The team spirit.'”

 

To read the article in its entirety, click on the button below.
hands holding a pink ribbon in the palms
Gene test spots breast cancer patients who can skip post-op chemo

Robert Preidt & Ernie Mundel, Health day news

“A genetic test can identify older breast cancer patients who can forgo chemotherapy after surgery, even if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, a large international clinical trial shows.” To read the full article, click the button below.

barbara on top of mt st helens with poles up in celebration
New Study Explores if a Vaccine Can Prevent Breast Cancer

alice park, time magazine

“Dr. G. Thomas Budd, staff physician at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center, is leading a potentially ground-breaking study of a breast cancer vaccine that could help women produce antibodies and other immune cells that protect them from getting cancer. The vaccine is designed to target a particularly aggressive form of the disease, known as triple negative, that currently has very few treatment options. Triple negative cancer lacks the molecular flags—for estrogen, progesterone or HER2—that common breast cancer drugs target.” To read the full article, click the button below.

barbara on top of mt st helens with poles up in celebration
300 Minutes a Week of Moderate Exercise May Help Ward Off Cancer

Eve Edelheit, The New York Times

“More than 46,000 cancer diagnoses in America each year, or about 3 percent of cases, could be prevented by meeting physical activity guidelines.” To read the full article, click the button below.

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