Nassif Community Cancer Center was in its infancy when Pam Towe was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2009. “The wellness program was getting started at just the right time for me,” Towe recalls. That summer, she was asked to take part in a new offering—working out at the cancer center with a personal trainer.
An active tennis player and former head tennis coach at Jefferson High School, Towe jumped at the opportunity. “I’ve never been the type who goes to a gym, but I like to exercise and this was a way to keep my body moving. I said absolutely yes, I’ll do it!”
Towe started working out twice a week with Cancer Exercise Specialist Matt Schmitz…and that was just the beginning. Over the years as the wellness program grew, Towe has tried almost everything it offers. She even serves on a patient advisory board at the center.
“The cancer center offers so many things all year to help cancer survivors and their families and keep us involved,” says Towe. “Exercise has been the top thing for me but I also love the massages. I’ve done meditation, tried reiki and yoga, and I’m hoping to take an art class soon.”
The nutrition program is another favorite. “I don’t always eat healthy enough, so I appreciate the dietitians,” explains Towe. “They’ve gotten to know me and send me healthy recipes they think I’ll enjoy.”
That level of support and understanding—what Towe calls “compassionate help”—is important to her. “Nassif Community Cancer Center has been a godsend for me. There’s always someone you can talk to and you know they’re in your corner.”
Nassif Community Cancer Center helps patients move beyond cancer with wellness for life, whether they are newly diagnosed or well into survivorship like Towe. Through generous support from the family of Jane Borg Cook and other donors, most wellness services are free for cancer patients and their loved ones. Towe says, “It’s a fantastic program. You don’t just surround yourself with people who have had cancer. You can bring anyone, from your spouse to a friend, parent, child or grandchild.”
Towe loves taking her grandkids to the annual Children’s Holiday Celebration, adding, “Everyone is there, from patients going through chemotherapy to children and staff members. It’s such a neat thing and the camaraderie is wonderful.”
Towe’s cancer is in remission, but she continues to be an active part of Nassif Community Cancer Center. “I have my actual family, my tennis family and my book club family,” says Towe. “The cancer center has become another family for me.”
For more information on the Cook Cancer Wellness Program at Nassif Community Cancer Center, click here.