Two years ago Barney and I met Team Phoenix 2014, since then we have met them each year and this year Team Phoenix 2016 invited us to get to know this years team. Please read, view, and share to learn about these remarkable woman and volunteers. Barney's friend Mitch had the following to share.
Team Phoenix is a community that helps cancer survivors regain control of their lives. Cancer survivors typically experience chronic fatigue as an after effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. We help them overcome this fatigue through athletic training.
Each year, we recruit a team of several dozen women to undergo a 14 week triathlon training program. Since 2011, 127 women have successfully completed their first sprint triathlon, which consists of a 1/2 mile swim, 14 mile bike ride and 5K run.
Research has shown that survivors who are physically fit have the lowest risk of their cancer recurring. But even more importantly, Team Phoenix's main goal is to help women "re-define" themselves - as athletes instead of cancer survivors.
Team Phoenix's head coach is Lauren Jensen, a nationally ranked triathlete who is also the head coach of TriFaster, a professional triathlon training company. Lauren also designed the Team Phoenix training program. In addition to Lauren and other coaches from TriFaster, Team Phoenix athletes are supported by dozens of volunteers. Many of these volunteers are Team Phoenix "alumni", who completed their first triathlon in a previous year's program, and are eager to give back to the current year's athletes. There's also a number of non-alumni volunteers who are passionate about doing triathlons, and want to share their enthusiasm and experience with newcomers.
Something that makes the Team Phoenix program truly unique is the support of the medical team. This includes Dr. Judy Tjoe, a breast cancer surgeon and founder of Team Phoenix, and Dr. Mike Mullane, a medical oncologist whose wife, Heidi, completed her first triathlon with Team Phoenix in 2013. The medical team also includes more than a dozen physical therapists, who are lead by Leslie Waltke, a nationally recognized expert on physical effects of breast cancer treatment. Members of the medical team are present at every practice during the 14 week program, to ensure that the physical training does not compromise the athletes' health in any way.
As a non-alumni volunteer, the thing I enjoy most about Team Phoenix is sharing the participants' joy. These ladies have all been given a new lease on life. Watching them overcome their doubts and fears to recognize that they really have it within themselves to be triathletes is an incredibly gratifying experience.
Posted 3 months, 1 week ago