Team Phoenix empowers women to become proactive in their own health care and survivorship and move beyond the title of cancer survivor. They are redefining themselves as athletes through the introduction to the joys of exercising and living well.
Team Phoenix is a 14-week program at Aurora Health Care that encourages and assists cancer survivors after cancer treatment. The program helps them regain physical fitness, endurance, strength and flexibility by training for a sprint triathlon.
Cancer survivors of all stages, ages and fitness levels train for a sprint distance triathlon to launch into an active lifestyle to achieve lifelong health and fitness goals. The coaching staff and the volunteer medical team of physicians, nurses, physical therapists and nutritionists take participants’ cancer treatments and side effects into consideration during training.
Fellow cancer survivors enhance their transition to life after cancer through 14 weeks of prescribed workouts. They train together and motivate one another to get to the finish line of their first triathlon. As teammates, they support one another as they achieve new and exciting milestones together, redefining themselves from patient to athlete.
Completing an athletic triathlon is a great accomplishment for anyone. After enduring the medical triathlon of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, this achievement can be life changing for cancer survivors. Crossing the finish line is empowering beyond words.
Since the program’s inception in 2011, more than 80% of the participants continue with regular fitness, which is significantly greater than the national average for cancer survivors. More than 50% of the athletes continue with triathlons of varying distances. In fact, several have gone on to complete half Ironman distances, and one completed her first full Ironman in 2014.
Team Phoenix complements our research efforts to better understand how exercise improves survival after cancer. Our research specialists collaborate with researchers in Marquette University’s Department of Exercise Science on the effects of moderate exercise on aerobic capacity, strength and psychological well-being after cancer treatment.
This body of work is just one of many ways Aurora Health Care is making life better for people affected by cancer. We are leveraging vast amounts of data and the expertise of a team of research specialists to change the face of cancer care, including the time after treatment. Together, we are making steady progress in advancing all aspects of cancer care, including diagnosis, treatment and survival.
Find out more about our breast cancer research program: Translational Oncology Research: Quest for Understanding & Exploration.
Thanks to generous gifts from individual donors, fundraising events and local and national companies’ financial and in-kind contributions, the program continues to grow and thrive. In 2015, the team grew from the Milwaukee area to include a squad in the Racine and Kenosha area, and the team continues to expand from there.
Financial gifts pay for professional coaching, lectures on nutrition, equipment and facility rentals, athlete gear, team jerseys and attire, and race entrance fees.