survive strong

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital's Rehabilitative Services have partnered with Lindenhurst Health & Fitness Center to offer Survive Strong, our cancer-related fatigue program.

Through multiple research studies, evidence shows that low to moderate exercise in oncology patients can reduce and even prevent cancer-related fatigue, reduce side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, improve quality of life and possibly even improve survival rates.

This program is designed for individuals diagnosed with any stage of cancer who are experiencing fatigue or weakness, or are unsure how to initiate exercise. It is appropriate for anyone currently undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or who has completed cancer treatment within the past year.

Program Components

The Survive Strong program consists of:

  • Initial evaluation with an oncology/lymphedema physical therapist to assess your past and current medical history and make specific, individualized recommendations to you and your exercise specialist
  • Group exercise programs twice each week for eight weeks, led by a cancer exercise specialist
  • Sessions include cardio, strengthening and flexibility exercises and are held in a semi-private area of the club
  • One group nutritional counseling session from a registered dietitian

The cost for Survive Strong is $160. Please see program requirements below. All Survive Strong physical therapists and personal trainers are certified Cancer Exercise Specialists.

Program Requirements

The following conditions must be met by anyone who would like to participate in the program:

  • Physical therapy evaluation referral from a physician, indicating approval to participate. Referral should state: “Physical Therapy Evaluation and Treat/Survive Strong Cancer Exercise Program.” Please fax referral to (847) 535-8001.
  • Registration completed prior to the start of the session by contacting Anthony Simone at (847) 535-7150 or
  • Initial evaluation completed at Lake Forest Hospital prior to initiating the program. Call Central Scheduling at (847) 535-8000 to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist.
  • Completed Health History Questionnaire, submitted prior to the start of the session.

Learn more about Survive Strong by reading “Pumping Iron with Cancer Patients: Lake County’s Only Cancer-related Fatigue Program” or by reading our member testimonial below. For more information, call (847) 535-6528 and speak with one of our oncology physical therapists.


Wendy Finger
Lake Forest Health & Fitness Center Member
Survive Strong participant

“’You have cancer.’ Those are words we all dread hearing. If you are like me, you remember every excruciating detail of the conversation… what caused you to go to the doctor, how the conversation went and the diagnosis: for me, it was stage IV colon cancer. You remember asking ‘Why me?,’ and asking that question over and over again.

After the initial shock wears off, you start asking a different question: How can I beat this disease?

If you’re like me, you are not going to let this awful squatter in your body win. You’re going to fight for your life. You’re going to find support groups, focus on nutrition and figure out the best fitness routine to help you be your strongest.

But you won’t have to do any of this alone.

Survive Strong is a program sponsored by Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. It’s not just an exercise class—it’s a cancer survivor program, complete with a physical therapy assessment and personalized goals and plans. Survive Strong is run by extremely talented and dedicated young trainers. They are upbeat, kind and compassionate—and know more about cancer fitness than most trainers with 20 years of experience. Most importantly, they are fun! They put together great routines for us and talk with us during the workout to keep things light and easy.

Before I joined Survive Strong, I was exercising alone, sometimes at home and sometimes at the gym. It was hard to get motivated, and I was never sure if I was doing things correctly. I wanted to join a class, but I didn’t want to be the slowest or weakest—nor did I want to be seen without my wig on.

With Survive Strong, none of that matters. The classes are small, and we can all go at our own pace. No one cares that I don’t have hair. Most importantly, I feel so much better after the workout. The cancer levels in my blood are going down, and I think I have a fighting chance! I’ve met people who are now my friends. And, as a side benefit, I have killer arms—bring on the summer, I am tank top ready!”

Group Exercise Substitution Schedule

Substitution list for the week of
December 10, 2018 >