Why I Ride: CancerFit Provides Patients with Benefits of Exercise

Velocity: Columbia’s Ride to End Cancer is just around the corner on October 7, 2018.  Velocity’s unique model symbolizes the idea that when people come together and gain momentum, they can make important things happen, and even end cancer. A similar spirit of a group coming together to make a positive impact is behind the launch of CancerFit--and their founders are Columbia University alumnae.

Founded by Velocity Riders Sarah Urke and Barbara Trencher, who met as students in Columbia’s Doctoral Degree Program in Physical Therapy, CancerFit’s goal is to provide cancer patients with the benefits of exercise and physical activity. Considerable data exists to support the hypothesis that exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease among chemotherapy patients. Numerous studies have demonstrated that certain chemotherapy agents can decrease and or interfere with cardiovascular function, but this decrease can be reduced or even eliminated for patients who exercise during the period of chemotherapy treatment. 

As Urke and Trencher say, in addition to providing an exercise program, CancerFit also serves a secondary benefit, “it’s a natural organic support group.” A group exercise format brings together patients who are undergoing similar experiences and allows them to interact and support one another. Moreover, CancerFit is aligned with Columbia’s integrative approach to cancer care. Faced with a cancer diagnosis, many patients turn not only to state-of-the art, conventional cancer treatment offered at Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, but also to an integrated, holistic approach to self-care. To read Urke's and Trencher's full story, visit Velocity Ride.

The Velocity Ride to End Cancer is in its second year. The fundraiser supports important, cutting-edge research happening at Columbia’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC), and in its first year raised $1.4 million for cancer care and research. There is still time to join or donate. Visit the Velocity website to find out how to participate and for more details.