A cancer diagnosis can turn a patient's world upside down, but a new program in Fort Worth is designed to help patients take back control of their life.
FitSteps for Life is now offered at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and it's free for cancer patients.
The program offers individualized and structured exercise treatment specifically for cancer patients.
Clinical exercise specialists work directly with each patient to prescribe appropriate exercises based on their diagnosis and physical capabilities.
Exercise prescriptions include aerobic exercise, resistance training and core strengthening, along with upper and lower body stretching techniques.
For 74-year-old Philip Moroneso, the program has given him control of his life.
"I can't change the fact that I have cancer. I can't change the fact that I have kidney failure, but I can change how I react to those diseases and hopefully I won't be defined by the disease I have, rather the life I lived," Moroneso said.
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Vice Provost for Community Engagement and Services at UNTHSC Nicoleta Bugnariu said they've seen improvements in patients.
"The ability to say, 'I am doing something. I have control over something in my life as I'm fighting cancer.' The ability to say, 'I can walk better, I can walk longer,'" Bugnariu said.
Patients also get access to healthy meals from Fort Worth nonprofit group Cuisine for Healing and free massages from Shine Therapy Oncology Massage.
Any cancer patient can join the free program, as long as he or she has a referral from a doctor.
The program is funded by the UNTHSC Foundation, Cancer Foundation for Life and the Rutledge Cancer Foundation.