Pink Ribbon 360, founded by east coast native Teri Friedland, addresses one of the most important aspects of a breast cancer survivor’s recovery – exercise.
“Everyone’s physical goals are different; however, in the short-term, the hope is to increase the survivor’s abilities to move their body safely, become stronger with less pain, and feel more confident,” Friedland said. “Our program is the bridge between treatments and independence. Exercise must become a part of every survivor’s life, and they deserve the support needed to achieve this.”
According to studies from the American Cancer Society and other medical entities, incorporating exercise can help decrease mortality and cancer recurrence by almost 40 percent.
But exercise is only one part of Pink Ribbon 360’s mission. They specialize in emotional healing as well.
“Oftentimes, the many side effects of surgeries, treatments, and hormone therapy aren’t explained to breast cancer survivors, which makes them less prepared to cope,” Friedland explained.
She also said that after the treatments are complete, family and friends want their loved one to ‘be healed’ and that they’re unaware that the journey is not over.
“This is a common time survivors feel anxiety and depression due to the emotional trauma of their journey. Pink Ribbon 360 is a safe place for survivors to express their feelings without fear of overloading on friends and family,” Friedland said.
At first, most clients come to Pink Ribbon 360 for physical help but later find the emotional support they didn’t know they needed, according to Friedland.
“They’re more confident, feel empowered with less anxiety about the future,” she said.
Friedland opened Pink Ribbon 360 about two and a half years ago, after trying to help a friend find an exercise program after she completed her breast cancer treatments.
“She still had pain and limited shoulder mobility,” Friedland explained. “My friend searched for an exercise program for breast cancer survivors and couldn’t find any in the Valley. I couldn’t believe it! This was when I became committed to making Pink Ribbon 360 a reality.”
Friedland already had over 20 years of experience as an occupational therapist and fitness instructor, so she took the next step and became a certified breast cancer exercise specialist. After being mentored by experts in the breast cancer field, Pink Ribbon 360 became a reality.
Over the last few years, her clients have experienced countless success stories. Recently, a client informed Friedland that she gained more mobility in her arm in one session than a lack of progress with 16 previous sessions.
Although that doesn’t happen with every client, Pink Ribbon 360 has a track record of helping survivors feel less pain and increase their strength and mobility.
“The more I learn and work with these amazing survivors, the more passionate I feel about this work,” Friedland said. “Helping them through this difficult journey and seeing them thrive, not just survive, is what keeps me going.”
Pink Ribbon 360 offers both in-person and virtual sessions to ensure any survivor can participate safely.
SAMPLE MOBILITY EXERCISES
Patients should consult a doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Back rolls: Gently and slowly roll the shoulders up, back, and down.
*This doesn’t have to be a significant movement to be effective. Feel your shoulder blades and chest muscles moving.
Forward rolls: Gently and slowly roll the shoulders up, forward, and around.
Seated shoulder slides
- Reach your arms in front of you with your arms slightly lower than shoulder height.
- Inhale and draw your shoulder blades together without arching your back while moving your arms to the sides.
- Exhale and return to center.
Forward/back: Reach your arms in front of you again, inhale and slide your shoulder blades apart as you feel your fingertips being pulled away from you. Exhale and return to center.