Cancer rehabilitation center in Abilene keeping their doors closed for now


ABILENE, Texas (KRBC/KTAB) – “So, what we do is we try to meet cancer patients at the beginning of their journey with cancer,” Stephanie Phelps, owner of Strength for Life said.  

Which is why when she was allowed to open the doors to her nonprofit cancer rehabilitation center like the rest of the gyms May 18, it was a no-brainer: her doors were staying locked.   

“They may have just received a diagnosis from their oncologist,” she said. “They may or may not know their treatment plan yet.”  

Brenda Conley said a person going through cancer treatments like she did six years ago after beating breast cancer are usually left weak and more susceptible to germs and viruses.   

“This COVID-19 could possibly be fatal,” she said. “I know we don’t like to talk about that.”   

But Phelps said being a cancer survivor herself, and being aware how COVID-19 spread through bodily fluids made her decision that much easier.   

“And when you exercise you tend to exert more energy, which is probably going to make you sweat more, maybe cough, some people get a little short of breath when they’re exercising,” she said.    

Conley said it definitely hasn’t been as convenient working out from home.  

“I’ll be really honest, I have not been very faithful at working out at home,” she said. “I do it some, but not enough.”   

So, she’s looking forward to getting back to the gym atmosphere. Phelps said she’ll determine the next steps of opening this June 1 depending on the cases in Abilene. When that happens, they’ll have a new protocol.   

“Where you make appointments. We see one person at a time. We’ll allow about 10 to 15 minutes in between people to clean and sanitize everything,” she said.    

But before that, it’ll give Conley a little more time to get back in gym shape.   

“Because when I do go back, Stephanie will be going, ‘What were you thinking?'” 

Phelps offers workout videos and other tutorials on her social media pages for those experiencing similar setbacks.   

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