When Jackie Andrews joined the PINK at Piedmont program, she was struggling.
Battling stage one breast cancer and a heart problem, Jackie says was tired, incredibly sad and fearful of what lay ahead. Some days, she says, she'd start crying in the supermarket and be unable to stop.
So, the PINK at Piedmont program was like a lifeline. She says, "(It) is a dream come true. It helps to strengthen up. It helps you to put that smile back."
The twelve week program, open to all breast cancer patients and those less that eight months out of treatment, offers support groups, life-coaching, exercise classes, nutritional counseling and programs to help cancer survivors cope with stress.
Jackie embraced the group workout classes, three times a week, and one-on-one sessions with a personal trainer. Some of these women have never exercised in their lives -- so Jennifer Hopper, Manager of Wellness for Piedmont Healthcare, says the PINK program meets the women where they are. She says the program, "Lets them know, 'I understand how you feel right now. This is scary, this is new. But you have purposely made a very wise decision to enter the PINK program.'"
The program's goal is simple -- to help woman battling breast cancer find their inner strength and regain a sense of control. Hopper says they promise participants, "Twelve weeks from now they are going to own this facility. They're going to feel so comfortable working out. They're going to be so empowered to use every inch of this facility."
Jackie reinvented the way she eats with the help of a registered dietitian, who is part of the program.
And she's learning to how to cope with stress, with mindfulness... and prayer.
Cancer may have thrown her a curve, but Jackie says she will have the final say. She says, "I am fighting it tooth and nail. I'm going to eat correctly, I'm going to exercise, I'm going to take the medication."
To learn more about the PINK Program, visit piedmont.org/living-better/pink-at-piedmont-life-beyond-breast-cancer