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Exercise Program Helps Cancer Patients With Recovery

DENVER (CBS4) - Surviving breast cancer doesn't end at surgery. It takes time, both physically and emotionally. Now there's an exercise program being offered at a studio in Denver to help speed up that recovery.

Breast cancer surgery can leave women in pain and depressed. They feel like their mobility is gone. But this program of gentle stretches gets them feeling better and back to being themselves.

Marnye Smith has an impressive range of motion. It's good for a busy mother of two, but it's great for a breast cancer survivor.

"I'm cancer free and it's been 10 months," Smith said.

Smith had a double mastectomy in June, reconstructive surgery and a painful recovery.

"You can't even lift your arms up," she said.

But Smith has a "can-do" friend, Leah Busam, owner of Pilates Bodies of Denver. Busam teaches what's called the Pink Ribbon Program.

"It is a program that works on regaining mobility in the affected shoulder, arm, chest, back muscles, abdominals," Busam said.

It was developed by a breast cancer survivor. Smith took 10 private sessions with Busam.

"The movement is so fluid and it's just very soft and easy to do," Smith said. "I really did get better every week"

Busam has seen similar results with all of her breast cancer clients. She says they improve both physically and emotionally.

"They gain confidence in themselves again, they gain strength, they have a positive body image," Busam said. "I've just seen strength in these women that I don't think they felt was possible."

Smith says she is now 100 percent.

"I'm great now. I'm so fortunate to be alive and to be healthy and to be cancer free. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I'm proof," Smith said.

The Pink Ribbon Program at Pilates Bodies on Colfax and Kearney costs $85 for the initial session and $75 for each hour after that. Half-hour sessions are also available or buy a package deal.

LINK: Pilates Bodies of Denver

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