LIVESTRONG at the YMCA of San Diego County Reaching Goals Together

LIVESTRONG instructor training small class

A supportive community is a big part of health and wellness. Our mission drives us to ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive in a nurturing environment. 

In It Together

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is fully funded by donors to engage cancer survivors through an approach that focuses on the whole person - mind and body.

Through this program participants work with trained Y staff to improve cardiovascular endurance and functional ability, build muscle mass and strength, and increase flexibility. In addition to physical benefits, the program also focuses on the mental and emotional well-being of survivors and their families. This creates a supportive community environment where people affected by cancer can connect during treatment and beyond.

By focusing on health, rather than the disease, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA has helped over 35,000 cancer survivors in 40 states move beyond illness to reclaim their wellness in both spirit, mind and body.

“Through this program I have found a part of the person I had hidden away during cancer treatment. It allowed me to feel ‘normal’ again! This is a very important program and I am blessed to be a part of it.”

— LIVESTRONG Participant


Adele, a Rancho Family YMCA member and former LIVESTRONG at the YMCA participant, shares her experience in the program and her gratitude for the generous donations from the Annual Campaign that help fund it:

“After I was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer, a good friend of mine encouraged me to check out LIVESTRONG. I was hesitant at first, because I had already started chemo. But from the first session, I felt comfortable and I found community over the next 12 weeks…. Our group bonded on so many different levels, and I was so encouraged through it all — even on days that were tougher for me physically because of my treatment …I just wanted to say thank you to everyone whose generosity has made that possible for me and for countless others.”

How LIVESTRONG at the Y Helped Dana Sobotka

The YMCA has always been a special place for Dana Sobotka and her family. They participated in free family events, her kids made friends at Child Watch while she worked out, and her husband even started working for the YMCA. Then, in the fall 2017, the YMCA helped change their lives.

When Dana discovered a lump in her breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer, her worst fears were realized. After a double mastectomy, her doctor confirmed the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and would require chemotherapy — which was particularly devastating as Dana was a wife, a mother of two children and a lifelong athlete. Not only does chemotherapy cause strong physical reactions and disruptive side effects, chemotherapy is very emotionally draining.

Dana decided to get the support she needed and signed up for LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. As a fitness enthusiast, the program gave her something to look forward to every Tuesday and Thursday night. The program, however, was so much more than exercise: it was about friendship. “There was a group of us. Different ages, different fitness abilities. The camaraderie was wonderful,” said Dana.

Today, Dana is cancer-free. Her road to recovery wasn’t easy, but thanks to LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, her friends and family, she was able to find the care and support she needed to slowly rebuild her life.

As Dana always says, “One foot in front of the other still crosses the finish line.”

LIVESTRONG Program Overview

  • 12-week small group program
  • Meets twice a week for 75 minutes (each)
  • Participants are given a complimentary "Family" membership to the Y for the duration of the program

Program Goals

  • Increase flexibility and endurance
  • Enhance functional ability to do everyday tasks
  • Improve energy levels, build muscle mass and strength
  • Reduce the severity of therapy side effects and prevent unwanted weight changes
  • Develop an ongoing physical fitness program, not only as part of recovery but as a way of life

How to Register for LIVESTRONG at the Y

Those with a strong personal desire to reclaim their health and are ready to commit themselves to this program are welcome to register with us today. Before registration, potential participants must:

  • Inform their physician that they plan to join the program
  • Contact us at [email protected] and give YMCA staff permission to contact their physician or healthcare provider (as needed)

LIVESTRONG Program Locations

The following YMCA locations have LIVESTRONG programs:


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In response to this critical health issue, YMCA’s Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program offers personalized support while participants develop the habit of monitoring their blood pressure. Research shows that the process of recording blood pressure at least twice a month over a period of four months can lower blood pressure in many people with high blood pressure.

Learn More