We ALL have activities or hobbies that we love to do. When we do them, we feel normal. We feel at peace. We feel like ourselves.

These things include activities like horseback riding, or taking a walk, or going golfing with friends. Whatever they may be, these activities are so important! They invigorate our lives and give us a chance to maintain that connection to ourselves and others.

One of the reasons why cancer is so difficult is because it often impedes your ability to do those activities. While your weekend golf outing or hike may be going on, you may be stuck inside.  You miss out on those experiences that are important to you.

And it hurts.

This is why one of the things we love the most at Maple Tree is helping our patients return to the activities they love once again.

Today, we want to share with you the story of Karen!

Karen is a 3-time cancer survivor who has vowed to fight cancer back with every ounce of strength she has. She fights so hard because it is important to her that her grandchildren see her as “strong”.

Karen’s first round with cancer came 19 years ago. At the time, her surgeon encouraged her to exercise and eat healthy. “That  made all the difference in the world” said Karen. After this, Karen chose to focus only on things that would make her stronger.

One thing Karen would often participate in to help her stay strong was a rhythmic, aerobic, drumming program called “Pound Class”. This was one of those activities we descrived above. Those things that we enjoy so much that they become an intergral part of our lives.

Karen’s second bout of cancer was so difficult that she could not participate in her Pound Class any longer.

She never thought she would get back to this program she loved so much.

When cancer struck for a third time, Karen knew she had to make a change. She knew she had to FIGHT for that change. She was a strong woman who had successfully battled cancer twice before. She was up for the challenge. But most of all, she just wanted to feel like herself again.

In April of 2019, just a few weeks after a cancer-related surgery, Karen came to Maple Tree for the first time. Her goal? She wanted to return to her Pound Calss.

In just seven months, Karen has made amazing progress. We are beyond proud of her! Because of her hard work, Karen has experienced a 95.78% increase in her cardiorespiratory health! She is also learning more about weight training. And, most importantly……

Karen has RETURNED to her Pound Class! (we always believed she would!!)

Karen says, “There was a time after my most recent cancer that I thought I would never be able to resume with the exercise routine that I had been able to do. I am not completely back to where I was, but I am well on the way!  Matt is my trainer and he continues to encourage me and motivate me to strengthen myself in new areas.”

Karen’s trainer, Matt, states that she is learning many new and innovative exercises using the TRX suspension system, he states  “I love that she trusts our exercise selection and embraces the times when we push her to challenge herself a little more!”

Karen is motivated and encouraged by the support she receives from her  wonderful husband, children and friends. “Because of the encouragement that I receive weekly, I believe that I will eventually get back to where I was, and will be even stronger and healthier!”

“I would like to encourage all healthcare providers to embrace the Maple Tree concept, and accept that ‘exercise is medicine!’  Good nutrition, exercise and spiritual growth are IMPERATIVE for healing — not just physically, but also spiritually and emotionally. With those three things (good nutrition, exercise and spiritual growth) in conjunction with Maple Tree I feel empowered! I know that I can be strong again!  I know I can regain my confidence that I do not have to be defeated because of this disgusting disease. Whenever I have the opportunity, I share my Maple Tree experience with anyone and everyone! I’ve recently encouraged several people to contact Maple Tree and now they too are reaping the benefits of what Maple Tree has to offer.  I am so very thankful for Maple Tree and their core beliefs!  It absolutely has made a difference and has the potential to make a difference in the lives of so many more individuals.  THANK YOU!  I appreciate you more than you know!  The Lord has been so good to me!” -Karen Barcelo

Thank YOU, Karen! You are an inspiration to us!