AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) – The 24 Hours in the Canyon Cancer Survivorship Center has reopened for the first time since March to offer free fitness classes and other programs to cancer survivors.
The center has not opened since the pandemic originally hit, as cancer patients are among the highest risk for COVID-19.
These survivors are now not only struggling with the same feelings of isolation as the general public, but also the added stress of knowing they are at much higher risk than the average person.
Since the start of the pandemic, the cancer survivorship center has seen a large increase in the free counseling services they provide to survivors.
“I think our mental health program has been strong and it’s only grown,” said Ryan Parnell, director of the 24 Hours in the Canyon Cancer Survivorship Center. “I think that’s primarily due to a lot of isolation. I think that’s important that were still able to provide that.We are very blessed for our community and our event, 24 Hours in the Canyon, so were able to do this free of charge.”
The cancer survivorship center not only offers various classes and services, but they bring survivors a strong sense of community.
“The community, you know, no mater how bad your experience was, there’s going to be someone here that has had a worse one. And just being able to talk to them, and think, ‘oh maybe mine might not be so bad,’” said Kathy Zolier, a 12 year cancer survivor and original member of 24 Hours in the Canyon Cancer Survivorship Center.
The center hopes that allowing survivors to see their friends in person again will bring them an added sense of comfort.
“I missed my friends,” continued Zolier. “When you know all of you are in the situation that you are at high risk for something that is killing thousands of people, it’s kind of scary. You don’t want to call them, because you don’t want to know.”
The 24 Hours in the Canyon Cancer Survivorship Center sees about one-hundred different survivors every month.
They are taking extreme safety precautions, such as temperature checks, sanitizing, social distancing and more.
The center offers numerous wellness services in addition to counseling, such as free wig try-on’s and fitness classes.
The 24 Hours in the Canyon Cancer Survivorship Center is currently offering about 25 to 35 fitness classes and survivors who are still uncomfortable about being indoors can even enjoy outdoor workout classes in their parking lot.
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