Spirit of Survival

(970) 569-7606 To learn more or schedule an appointment.
Shaw Cancer Center’s comprehensive wellness program addresses the physical and emotional effects of cancer, long-term health goals, and the impact of cancer on day-to-day life. Incorporating fitnessnutrition, physical therapy and a variety of support services, and wellness services, the Spirit of Survival program empowers all survivors to thrive during and after treatment. Cancer and cancer treatments can have a long-lasting impact on your body, mind, and spirit. Survivorship services at Shaw Cancer Center include clinical care, education, and support throughout your treatment and after initial therapy is complete.
Through personalized guidance through the cancer journey, we empower survivors with knowledge on their cancer diagnosis and treatment, provide information, address late and long-term effects of cancer and its treatment, and provide recommendations for follow-up care. 

Eagle and Summit Counties are in the top 5 counties for cancer survival rates in the country. Dr. Patricia Hardenbergh and experts from Shaw’s Spirit of Survival program explain the impact of Shaw's unique program. Watch the video →
Spirit of Survivor Program includes:
  • Fitness - Classes in yoga, Pilates, meditation and tai chi
  • Nutrition - Shaw's registered dietician, recommended readings and websites
  • Physical Therapy - integrative approach to treating patients during treatment and recovery
  • Support Cancer Support Groups, peer connection, spiritual services
  • Wellness Services - Acupuncture, Reiki, guided imagery, massage, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, relax & stretch 
  • Spirit of Survival Events - Look Good, Feel Better, Expressive Arts, hikes, and luncheons
  • iThrive Plan - Sign up today for our free, individualized, interactive health plan for cancer survivors 
Spirit of Survival is made possible by the generosity of participants and donors of Pink Vail. To learn more about our survivorship program or to schedule an appointment, please call (970) 569-7606.
Shaw Cancer Center created Spirit of Survival for cancer patients and survivors. Spirit of Survival is a comprehensive wellness program that begins with an assessment of each patient's physical health, dietary and exercise needs, patient and family support needs and results in an individualized program designed specifically for each patient.
Your physical therapy program is a component of your customized Spirit of Survival program. You may need physical therapy to regain functional strength in specific areas.
Fit for Survival is not an exercise class. It is a specific fitness program designed to help patients regain wellness and promote a better quality of life. Exercise classes are offered to patients as part of the program.
Currently, we offer yoga and tai chi to patients under treatment and cancer survivors. Please visit our fitness page for a complete listing of classes.
You will work with our certified exercise physiologists, and in some cases, our physical therapist and certified lymphedema therapist.
Patients can begin Fit for Survival even right after diagnosis. Studies show that the sooner patients start exercising or being physically active, the better their chance at reducing the negative side effects of cancer and its treatment. Fatigue is a very common issue with patients who undergo radiation or chemotherapy or who have previously gone through either treatment. Not all patients experience fatigue, and those who do report different levels, ranging from debilitating to mild. When your body is better conditioned and more efficient at performing daily activities, it will be better suited to battle any level of fatigue.
It is never too late to start an exercise program. The sooner you start, the sooner you and your body will reap the benefits of regular exercise. Even if you have never exercised before, our exercise physiologists will build a program around you and your specific needs. We will start slowly and gradually build up the muscular and cardiovascular strength to your personal tolerance. Ultimately, the program will help increase energy, make you think more clearly, rid your body of stress, increase endorphins, and help you feel good about your body.
Losing body fat helps cancer patients in many ways, both directly and indirectly. Decreasing body fat is a direct result of increased activity. A study by the American Cancer Society showed that women who were more active (participated in six hours/week of vigorous activity, such as jogging, swimming or running) decreased their risk of breast cancer by 30 percent. Another study showed that men and women who jogged the equivalent of five hours/week lowered their risk of colorectal cancer by 40 to 50 percent.
Losing weight also decreases the risk of developing complications from surgery. The time needed for recovery from surgery also decreases, allowing you to get back to your daily routine sooner. Shorter recovery times lead to less protective posturing by the body to compensate for the weakened areas.
To learn more about Spirit of Survival or to schedule an appointment, please call (970) 569-7493 or toll free (866) 569-7429.
Shaw Cancer Center is a service of Vail Health Hospital.