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Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities offers a new class to help cancer patients and survivors regain strength

DAVENPORT, Iowa  -- Gilda’s Club is adding an evening yoga class for Cancer Survivors & Caregivers. Sessions will be held on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month from 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Davenport Clubhouse.

This new evening class joins the other yoga offerings. Yoga 4 Cancer is held every Monday and Thursday, 1:30 - 2:30 pm. Chair Yoga is held every Thursday from 5:15 – 6:00 pm.

Michael Zeglin has been coming to the Yoga 4 Cancer class for the last six months and says he has noticed a significant change.

"I can stand on one leg and put on a pair of pants now," Zeglin said. "I never could do anything on one leg, but these poses have got me doing it all."

Zeglin suffers from advanced pancreatic cancer.

"I was given just a few months to live in September of 2017," Zeglin said.

After defying the odds, Zeglin is now using yoga to rebuild his strength and flexibility safely.

"I didn't know if I could do it," Zeglin said. "But, I've been doing it."It helps me a lot.

"All the poses that we do focus on one of the benefits to a side effect of cancer treatment," program director Kelly Hendershot said. "Anything we do here in our class, I can adapt to meet everybody's needs."

Hendershot said yoga can help stimulate the immune system and build bone density.

"It helps empower people," Hendershot said. "They are able to do poses that they didn't think they would be able to do. They find that they sleep a little better if they are doing something meditative like a yoga practice."

Zeglin says he sees more than just physical benefits to the class.

"It gives you hope for having a normal life," he said. A healthier life. We all have to live with dealing with our cancer, but there's another part to it, there's health after cancer."

These yoga classes are specifically crafted to help those impacted by cancer.

"The nice thing about coming here is we are all in the same boat," Yoga 4 Cancer participant Shari Baker said. "We don't judge, everyone goes at their own pace and does what they can."

"I have to hold onto the wall to do some of the poses," Zeglin said. "I'm not what you call a yoga expert. I do it because it does help and it's healthy."

Hendershot says she sees around 20-30 people in her yoga classes each week.

"Close to 9,000 people are currently living with a cancer diagnosis in the immediate Quad Cities," Hendershot said.

Anyone who is impacted by cancer can attend.

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