Interview Series: Jen Edgecombe, The City of Kamloops

We have decided to try something new and exciting. Although I do love to blog and share about my CANcer experiences, tips and tricks, we have decided to try something different. We have decided to dive into and explore a whole new way to share information with our CANcer community and with every person we touch.

Spring is a symbol of renewal, and so naturally, we assessed and took inventory of our offerings and found room to expand with fresh new ideas. Enter our “Interview Series”…

Over the last year and a half of operation, May Cause Radiance has established relationships and partnerships with various businesses and organizations that have unique offerings to support our CANcer community. We have began to reached out to each of them with the proposal of an “interview style” discussion to share with the world (well, with all of you…) to portray exactly how they can support, what their offerings are and how a CANcer warrior (of any age!) can access their services or products.

Throughout this entire Interview Series, you will see the same six questions asked of each of our interviewees to uncover the answers to each of the questions, below. Enjoy!

  1. Tell us a little bit about you; your hobbies, your happy place, your dreams and your goals. What makes you feel RADIANT? 

With her position as Clinical Exercise Specialist Coordinator with the City of Kamloops, Jen runs various exercise programs, including Sensational Survivors and True North. She believes that exercise is a form of medicine that helps the body heal. Exercise throughout one’s CANcer journey offers so many benefits while helping the body rehabilitate, reduce the risk of re-occurance and improved overall well-being. Jen also works closely with the BC Cancer Clinic. If you are currently in the treatment stage of your journey, we will require the go ahead from your Oncologist prior to exercise. If you are rehabilitating, we will discuss your specific medical conditions with you and decide if we require some input from your doctor or nurse practitioner. We use the most up to date guidelines to inform our practice to get you started as safely as possible.

The Sensational Survivors program is a 12-session group exercise program for women with a positive diagnosis of cancer. Through this goal-based program, each individual will meet with staff to determine appropriateness through initial intake, recieve guidance from highly trained  Professional Trainers, Kinesiologist and/or Exercise Physiologists and have oversight from an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer (ACSM CCEP & CET).
TRUE Nth (True North) is the name of the program that Jen runs offered to men with CANcer. TRUE Nth was developed by the University of Calgary and the exercise curriculum has been specifically designed for men with prostate CANcer. This program focuses on various exercise forms and ultimately aims to improve the quality of life of men with CANcer and their families. Most importantly, these programs offer incredible ways for one to build in community with other CANcer warriors. There is a minimal cost to the programs, which Jen can facilitate subsidy for, if needed. If neither of these programs appeal to an individual, Jen and her team will work one-on-one to develop a customized program that does!
2. What type of people do you generally connect with through your business and how can you help them? What are people generally looking for when they find you?
The programs Jen runs attract both male and females, and she finds the younger demographic is often resistant to participate (which is why this interview with Jen is so great for our young adult community!). There have been several cases in the past where a social worker from the BC Cancer Clinic will refer an individual to Jen, and together, the individual and Jen will find a program that works for them. It may be more of a one-on-one setting, it may include gentle stretching and there is never pressure to exercise out of one’s comfort zone.
Another FANTASTIC bonus of working with Jen and her team is that they “get” CANcer…they understand pic lines, chemo brain, fatigue from treatment or dis-ease and they know how to work around it! You will never find yourself having to explain yourself or apologizing for not being able to do something.
Jen recalls working with a young athlete after their CANcer treatment. They were uncertain of joining an exercise program for fear of their own safety. However, after working with the team, they successfully completed their individualized training program and they were able to return to a high level of sport.
3. How may your services or product be of benefit to one dealing with CANcer, or trauma in general?
Other than the aforementioned, Jen and her team are also connected to social workers and mental health clinicians. Let’s face it, CANcer is not easy. It tests us to the maximum, and at times, it gets the better of us. Depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and just surviving survivorship are four things often experienced as part of one’s CANcer journey, and it is important to have the resources and support to deal with them effectively. Jen and her team’s arms are open and ready to help you.
4. How can people connect with you with? Do you work with clients or offer consultations online/over the phone?
Jen and her team strive to make this experience as wonderful as possible for you. The best way to start working with Jen is to give her a call. Through a brief and casual chat on the phone, a CANcer Warrior and Jen can determine what may work for the individual. Little personal information is collected, but enough is collected to ensure anything they prescribe will be safe and in the best interest of the individual. And, as mentioned above, the individual may be required to discuss the safety of exercise with the oncologist, GP or NP.
5. What is a typical outcome you see after working with a client?
The programs that Jen offers are all very goal-based and her and her team always begins with a goal setting exercise. They offer support throughout 12 weeks to achieve that goal and they see very high success rates. Some examples of goals she has seen achieved while working with CANcer Warriors are returning to tennis or hiking. One example, specifically, that Jen recalls is working with a woman one year post-chemotherapy treatment who wanted to run the Vancouver Marathon. Jen and her team worked with and supported this individual throughout her program and she reached her goal!
6. If you could create the perfect offering to someone who has just recently been diagnosed with CANcer or has just finished treatment and is on the healing path, what would that look like?
There has been an abundance of research supporting that increased general physical fitness improves one’s tolerance to CANcer therapies. The majority of the work that Jen and her team do is research and evidence-based, and in general supports that one’s outcome is typically better when supplemented with physical activity and movement.
Huge thank you to Jen Edgecombe, Clinical Exercise Specialist Coordinator at the City of Kamloops for participating in our Interview Series to bring information and knowledge to our CANcer community.
With Love,
Tessa & Michelle

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