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From MuskokaUnlimited.com: Caring for the Community
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From MuskokaUnlimited.com: Caring for the Community

Posted: 2023-07-07 11:47:11 By: thebay

From MuskokaUnlimited.com: Caring for the Community

Cancer has, had, or will have an impact in one way or another on every person in the community - regardless of financial or social standing.

The number-one killer of Canadians is indiscriminate as it leaves its mark physically, emotionally, and mentally on the person fighting the disease and their loved ones.

Whether it’s the individual living with a diagnosis, their partner, their family, their friends, their co-workers, or anyone who knows the person, there are very real ripples felt.

The good news is that there is community support available through Enliven Cancer Care Muskoka to help both those living with Cancer and their families cope – even thrive – during the process.

Enliven Cancer Care Muskoka is a charitable organization that is 100 percent funded by philanthropy. They provide their services at no cost to the participants through volunteer hours, generous donations, grants, and fundraising ventures.

One such influx of funding came earlier this year from Hydro One’s Healthy Communities grant program. Enliven Muskoka was awarded $25,000 towards their Integrated Movement Matters program for those living with a diagnosis – regardless of when that diagnosis occurred.

“We offer this program of yoga, fitness and NIA (non-impact aerobics),” explains David McLean, chair of the fund development committee. “We offer it in twelve-week blocks in both Huntsville and Bracebridge … this program alone has impacted hundreds of lives.”

David’s late wife Joanne and her friend, Huntsville Yogi Allie Chisholm-Smith, founded Enliven Cancer Care Muskoka several years ago.

The idea was to help people in the community to be able to do as many "normal," pre-diagnosis things as possible is one way to help feel supported and not alone in the fight.

As well, they wanted to ensure there were programs geared towards family members of those diagnosed with Cancer is vital to their emotional and mental strength.

“Joanne passed away five years ago,” says McLean. “Her legacy is very much alive, and she would be very excited about how Enliven has grown through the years and the impact it’s having.”

For Enliven Muskoka’s fund development manager Andrea Johnston, it is very important that families know they provide programs for them too. Her husband received a Cancer diagnosis last fall and while they were looking for programs, Enliven Muskoka kept showing up on their radar.

“My misconception was that all these amazing offerings were solely for the person who had received the diagnosis,” says Johnston. “Cancer derails everyone in that person’s circle and I was definitely derailed. I was encouraged for my own health and well being, to combat that social isolation that comes with a diagnosis, to look at the programming. It became invaluable to me to combat that loneliness and isolation.”

She adds: “Speaking with people who had already gone through some of the processes that we were going to go through was amazing to me just to have that shared experience. IT was nice to have some to lean on.”

Read more about their beginnings and upcoming fundraiser at: https://muskokaunlimited.com/2023/07/04/caring-for-the-community/