Highmark fund grants $100K to YMCA cancer support program

October 17, 2020

The YMCA of Delaware was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware’s BluePrints for the Community fund to help support the Livestrong at the YMCA program, through which classes are currently offered at all seven YMCA locations in the state at no cost to cancer survivors. Funding from the Highmark grant will allow the YMCA to increase program capacity for in-person programming and develop a sustainable virtual delivery method for immune-suppressed or compromised participants.

“Cancer is a life-changing disease that takes a tremendous physical and emotional toll on those affected,” said Tricia Jefferson, YMCA of Delaware director of program development and partnerships. “At the Y, we are providing a safe, supportive community for cancer survivors to heal and regain their strength. Every survivor deserves unconditional support and the opportunity to be a part of this amazing program. Thanks to the Highmark grant, we are now able to expand class offerings and provide immune-compromised participants with virtual options to participate from the safety of their homes.”

In 2019, Livestrong at the YMCA supported 229 cancer survivors who found themselves on the journey from completing their treatment to feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to return to normal life. The 12-week physical activity program, offered at no cost to the community, is designed to get survivors back on their feet. Small-group sessions are facilitated by certified YMCA instructors who assist participants in a variety of physical activity options including cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, balance and flexibility.

“The Livestrong at the YMCA program has proven effectiveness in supporting cancer survivors’ total health and well-being. BluePrints for the Community supports YMCA’s efforts in providing services and resources to those who have experienced various challenges on their journey to healing,” said Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware.

BluePrints for the Community is the donor-advised fund of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware at the Delaware Community Foundation. It has contributed over $16 million to the community since its inception in 2007. It was established to serve Delawareans with emphasis on, but not limited to, the needs of the uninsured and underserved, and to reduce healthcare disparities in minority populations and address social determinants of health.

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