The sessions are being led by our Prehab4Cancer exercise specialists who deliver fitness, nutrition and wellbeing programmes to help cancer patients prepare for and recover from major surgery.
They usually deliver help in local community leisure centres for people with cancer who are referred for support by the medical teams at the region’s hospitals. In response to lockdown restrictions, the Prehab4Cancer exercise specialists are offering their support online.
World Cancer Day is held every February and led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). It aims to raise awareness, improve education and bring about personal, collective and government action to save lives and improve access to life-saving cancer treatment.
In Greater Manchester, Prehab4Cancer fitness sessions will be streamed live on Zoom from 8am to 9pm. Links to join will be posted on the GM Active social media channels at 7am on Thursday.
Kirsty Rowlinson-Groves, GM Active’s Programme Manager for Prehab4Cancer, said: “Our team of exercise specialists are inviting everyone to take part in any session they choose. These are really accessible for all ages and abilities. We are raising awareness of how activity at any level boosts physical and mental health, including for some people with cancer who are preparing for or recovering from surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Two current Prehab4Cancer patients are taking part in Thursday’s activities. Sharon Butler, from Trafford, is recovering from colorectal cancer. She joined the referral programme before the Covid lockdown, attending sessions in a local gym and then online. The other is Miriam Gilland, from Tameside, who is awaiting surgery for colorectal cancer.
Prehab4Cancer exercise specialists include Kirsty, who usually works with patients in leisure centres in Manchester; Jack Murphy who covers Trafford and Salford; Sarah Jayne Hurst, who covers Oldham and Rochdale; Rob Mentha in Wigan and Stockport, Karly Baguley in Bolton and Bury, and Ash Rowlands, who works in Tameside and north Manchester.
Gemma Hillier-Moses, the founder of the MOVE Charity and 5K Your Way initiative, also hopes to take part.
Around 16,000 people in Greater Manchester are diagnosed with cancer every year. People here have a greater chance of getting cancer than the national average and are typically less prepared and resilient, physically, and mentally, for cancer treatment than patients in other regions.