Supporting well-being of cancer survivors

By Arlee Walls, Colorado State University

The Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University hosts a unique program designed to promote healthy and active lifestyles for cancer survivors. The Fitness Therapy for Cancer Program, or Fit Cancer, supports cancer survivors at any phase in their journey. Research shows that survivors who exercise have more energy, better quality of life, and improved survival rates. Fit Cancer has benefited from events and fundraisers sponsored by the Department of Health and Exercise Science and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

“The primary goal of this program and my research lab is to determine the best ways to help people become physically active, and to stay active even after an intervention or program ends,” said Health and Exercise Science Assistant Professor Heather Leach, who directs the program.

Last spring, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity hosted fundraising events to benefit Fit Cancer. Carter Beloff, a junior majoring in health and exercise science, serves as the philanthropy chair for the chapter. Beloff’s role involves planning, gathering materials, budgeting, and coordinating the fundraising events. Last year, the chapter hosted a fundraising event called “Grilled Cheese with SAE.” The chapter also hosted an online fundraiser through CSU’s Ramfunder platform which raised $3,250 for the program.

“Fit Cancer is a good option for us because it is on campus and it helps people in our community, which is more incentivizing for people attending our philanthropy to want to give,” said Beloff. “It’s something close to home and allows us to see and be more connected to the impact we have on the program.”

“Through all of this, we hope to include as much of the CSU and Fort Collins community as possible and help spread the word about Fit Cancer,” said Beloff, who says SAE is planning more fundraising activities to benefit the program.

The money raised from the SAE chapter and Homecoming 5K Race goes towards supporting the program staff, providing scholarships for participants to enroll and complete the program, and buying equipment needed for exercise sessions.