ABILENE, Texas (KRBC)-While many people see working out as a chore, the patients in the “Strength for Life” program as motivation to continue their fights against cancer.
After battling stage 3 Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Stephanie Phelps began working out at Firehouse Fitness with a trainer, and she noticed a staunch difference in her physical and mental state.
“There’s definitely a lack of energy fatigue, weakness, muscle loss, balance issues, even cognitive issues that come with going through something like that,” said Phelps.
Now, for more than a year, Phelps has been helping patients in her studio at Firehouse Fitness on S. 7th St. Phelps said after getting a referral from their physicians, patients can attend the free program, starting with a comprehensive analysis of each person’s physical and mental needs.
“We just try to treat the whole person, and like I said this is a relationship that we try to build,” said Phelps. “We want to be around to help you for the rest of your life. So, we really get to know our clients, and we just feel like they’re family. “
Donna McBride has been going to the gym for roughly a month and a half. When asked if she sometimes struggles to attend the program because of fatigue or stress or simply unwillingness.
“And like this morning I drove through a horrible storm that had a little bit of hail but sometimes I think that’s just something trying to stop me, and I think that my will’s gotta be stronger,” said McBride. “It’s just like with the cancer.”
In spite of that feeling of reluctance, she said, she continues on. 
“I think it’s how you accept your diagnosis from the very beginning,” said McBride. “Are you going to see it through and beat it? Or, are you going to let it beat you?”

“Strength for Life” participates in Abilene Gives; if you would like to donate to this cause or others, you can visit :https://www.abilenegives.org/ or contact the Abilene Community Foundation at 325-676-3883