Cancer survivors thrive at St. Joseph Hospital's Dance for Wellness

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An Orange County hospital offers a free program to those who are going through or have survived cancer to help them with many aspects of life.

At St. Joseph Hospital Cancer Center , these women are feeling the rhythm with the help of physical therapist assistant Dee Dee Weathers-Cox. She teaches a Zumba-inspired "Dance for Wellness" class for cancer patients.

"Some of them have started their treatment, some of them are in the midst of their treatment and some of them are moving beyond cancer," said Weathers-Cox.

Janni Buaiz, who is a cancer wellness navigator, says the program is based on four pillars: body weight, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle, incorporating the use of gratitude globes to help calm and center the nervous system.

"They learn cancer prevention. They learn how to live a well life -- bridge the gap between the clinical, and now they're an open canvas. 'What now? how do I go on?'" said Buaiz.

Of course there is physical exercise -- that's what this is all about -- but most of the women will tell you it's really emotional.

"I've survived four surgeries, cancer surgeries. This hospital means a lot to me," said Melissa McFedries, of Tustin.

"I love it. It's been my lifeline, even on days I don't feel like coming, I feel so good," said Sandra Potts from Fullerton.

Singing, clapping, smiling and loving are all a part of this workout.

"That class is a vent. It is meant to evoke emotion, get it out, express joy, laughter because a lot of our participants are coming in here and they're on a journey that's really difficult," said Weathers-Cox.

St. Joseph Cancer Treatment Center also offers yoga, pilates, circuit training and one-on-one workouts that are free to those receiving treatment.
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