Chairman Brian Burch introduced Oncologist Dr Karen White and Angela McDonald, a cancer survivor. He briefly explained the program ‘Strive to Thrive’, an exercise program initiated by Dr Karen White to help rehabilitate patients after the devastating effects of cancer treatment. Brian also fondly remembered his wife Helen’s recent battle with cancer.  

Karen began by explaining that the worst part of the struggle following cancer treatment is when the doctor recommends an exercise program. Patients may not have the skills or knowledge to proceed and need lots of emotional support. Her program has been running for 2 years now; sessions run twice weekly and include an information session with guest speakers on healthy choices of food and lifestyle.


In September 2011 Angela was diagnosed with breast cancer and a whirlwind of tests, surgery and treatment followed leaving her tired, very weak, nauseas, with limited core movement and just wanting to rest rather than exercise. Karen suggested the S2T program with its excellent support circle and Angela took on the challenge with 14 other breast cancer survivors. She said it was brilliantly organised, with medical people on hand to supervise and guest speakers on topics suited to the women’s needs. The support group meets regularly, shares a platter of healthy food and swaps ideas; some members organise extra walks amongst themselves.  Angela stated the program left her on fire: more energetic, increased mental and spiritual fitness and an improvement in physical strength, in short, a much more
Brian Burch thanked Karen for her very professional talk and Angela for sharing her story with us, and presented both ladies with a token gift from Bayside RC.