Middle Tennessee non-profit helps cancer survivors get back in shape

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) - A Middle Tennessee non-profit is helping cancer survivors get into shape.

After going through cancer treatment, working out may seem like a struggle. Ronn Hollis wasn't always able to "tire slam." For a while, he couldn't climb stairs without getting out of breath.  

"So I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2014," Hollis said.

After a year and a half of chemotherapy, and two rounds of radiation, he was depleted. Once he was cancer free, he became a Survivor Fitness participant. 

"And I began to get some muscle mass, began to get bigger here and smaller here which is needed, and then kind of got it in my head that I could get my life back again so that's how we got going," Hollis said. 

The non-profit was started by Aaron Grunke, a cancer survivor, who realized getting back to the gym was intimidating. In some cases, there's things you can, and can't do.   

Trainers, like Erin Strickland and Zlatko Hundar, work with cancer survivors twice a week for twelve weeks.  

"And we're going to be with you every step of the way," Erin Strickland said. 

Strickland said it's okay to start from scratch.  

Strickland said, "Really you have to be open minded and you have to listen and everyone's going to have different challenges, they're going to have different struggles throughout this healing process." 

After graduating from the program, Hollis still works out with Zlatko at Chadwick's Fitness and Performance Training.  

Now, he finally has his breath back.  

"There's a light at the end of the tunnel, fight fight, get through it, and then get everything back, and when you're ready get connected to the Survivor Fitness Foundation and get back to life," Strickland said.

The Survivor Fitness Foundation is looking for more cancer survivors to participate in the program. If you would like to join, go here.

The Survivor Fitness Foundation also provides nutritional support for cancer survivors. As of now, gym partners include Chadwick's Fitness & Performance Training, Results on Music Row, and Vanderbilt's Dayani Center.

If cancer survivors are not able to pay for the training, the non-profit will support them financially. 

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