Dragonboat team’s new fund promotes health and fitness

Summoning a determination to not just survive in the face of a cancer diagnosis – but to thrive – can be a monumental task. The MOV’n Dragons team, which includes many thrivers among its members, is starting a new project designed to help.

The Mid-Ohio Valley’s dragon boat team has established a Thriver Fund to help those who have experienced cancer pursue exercise and other healthy lifestyle choices. Area fitness centers, gyms and businesses are partnering with the team to provide free classes, weight training and other services. Zumba, swimming, yoga, toning and massage are among the options available.

“The MOV’n Dragons team is proud to be in a position to give back to the supportive community we live in by establishing this special fund,” said Janet Chase, a member of the team and its Thriver Fund committee. “If by spending some time exercising those with cancer forget their illness for a period of time, the Thriver Fund has met one of its goals.

“As many of us paddling in the dragonboat have experienced, exercise empowers our bodies to feel strong, our minds to feel a sense of accomplishment and healing, and our emotions to express a positive outlook.”

Applications are now being accepted from interested Mid-Ohio Valley residents. The fund can assist male and female cancer survivors 18 and older who are receiving (or have received) medical treatment. Committee members can work with applicants to find an activity that matches their interests and physical needs.

“It could be years since your cancer ordeal – or you could be in the middle of it,” said Thriver Fund committee member Felicia Buell. “All you need is a desire to participate in an activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle. We are here to support you in that goal.”

A licensed massage therapist, Buell recently trained in oncology massage, which is one option available to Thriver Fund applicants.

Committee members are spreading the word about the Thriver Fund throughout the community. To arrange a presentation for an organization or to partner with the team to provide services for cancer survivors, email janetvc@sbcglobal.net.

More information, a list of participating businesses and an application form are available on the MOV’n Dragons website at www.movndragons.org. Applications also are available from the Marietta Community Foundation, 100 Putnam St., Marietta.