Cancer Recovery Leads to Caring for Kids
In February 2015, Gigi Rogers learned she had colon cancer. She underwent surgery in March 2015, and enrolled in the YMCA’s Cancer Rehabilitation Exercise (CaRE) program at our YMCA at New Holland branch that September. Gigi credits her strong faith in keeping her going. “I wouldn’t describe myself as a fighter,” Gigi says, “but I trusted that God would see me through this.”
Having always been an athletic person, Gigi understood the important role exercise would play in her recovery. She said that CaRE helped increase her strength, but she felt the other aspects of the class were also very beneficial. Gigi said, “It was a supportive group environment with people who were experiencing similar issues and a good way for someone to plug-in to a recovery program. The presentations during the class that dealt with topics like nutrition, coping, stress reduction and spirituality we’re very helpful.”
Gigi is a nurse, and while she wasn’t ready to go back to work, she knew she needed to stay active after the CaRE class and decided that volunteering in the Pre-K program at the YMCA’s Early Learning Academy would be a good fit. “I believe that when you give back to others, you will be blessed in return. When I’m with the kids, I see how trusting and responsive they are since they know the teachers will take care of them. It reminds me to keep that same child-like faith in God that he will care for me in my life journey as well.”
The kids keep Gigi busy and she especially enjoys the days when they head to the City Center Y gym for some healthy play. In her short time volunteering in the Pre-K program, she can already see the developmental progress the kids are making which she credits to the positive structure and nurturing environment the teachers create. While Gigi began her time in our Early Learning Academy as a way to keep active, she has clearly made an impact on the children as their faces light up when she walks in the door.
Gigi’s family — husband Fred, daughters Amelia and Grace, and son-in-law Matt — love being athletic together. Their favorite activities include hiking, biking, tennis and skiing. Gigi is looking forward to the arrival of her first grandchild and feels her time spent with our Pre-K kids will be good practice for being a grandmother!
The Lancaster Family YMCA offers the CaRE program in partnership with Penn Medicine/Lancaster General Health at our City Center, Lampeter-Strasburg and YMCA at New Holland branches. CaRE is a fully subsidized program, offered at no cost to those recovering from cancer. If you or someone you know would like to participant in CaRE, please contact the Lancaster General Contact Center at LGH-INFO (544-4636).
In 2013, the Lancaster Family YMCA opened the Early Learning Academy to meet a critical Lancaster County need for quality, Pre-K programs. The Y partners with the School District of Lancaster and the United Way of Lancaster County to ensure these early learning opportunities are available to all children regardless of their family’s financial means.