Greene County News
XENIA — Brenda Langford feels like a new person thanks to Maple Tree Cancer Alliance and Greene Medical Foundation.
The 65-year-old Xenia resident learned she had breast cancer more than a year ago after a routine mammogram. Working with the Ruth McMillan Cancer Center at Greene Memorial Hospital’s Dr. Emily Vannorsdall, Brenda underwent a lumpectomy and immediately began chemotherapy and radiation.
Maple Tree Alliance is an exercise and nutrition program that is offered at the cancer centers at Greene Memorial and Soin Medical Center for those battling cancer. The program developed by Maple Tree Cancer Alliance in Dayton, is the brainchild of Karen Wonders, a professor at Wright State University, who was burdened to help cancer patients in their battle.
The program is already helping more than 100 patients after Greene Medical Foundation awarded a $55,000 grant to initiate the program and offer it free of charge to every patient as part of their treatment plan.
Brenda learned about Maple Tree through Dr. Vannorsdall and although her goal was to work with Maple Tree right away, because the chemotheraphy and radiation were hard on her body, she had to wait until her chemotherapy ended.
During cancer treatment Brenda felt like she lost her strength. “I couldn’t put my shoes on because I didn’t have the strength to raise my legs. When I learned about this new program that incorporated diet and exercise into my treatment plan I wanted to sign up for it right away.”
Last December she was ready to go through physical therapy and teamed up with Maple Tree physical therapist Brittany Stout. The two began working to build her upper body strength as well as working to take stairs regularly. She now does cardiovascular workouts as her therapist monitors blood pressure and heart rate during the whole process.
“The work was tough, but I just love Brittany – she challenged me to improve. she accommodated my schedule and met me at Greene Memorial so I could begin building my strength back. I feel very lucky this program has been so great for me.”
The program is adapted to the patient’s specific abilities and needs. Brenda explained that before she began Maple Tree she had trouble with her right knee – so Brittany tailored her exercise plan to help strengthen that knee.
“This program has made me feel so much better,” she said. “I am stronger. I can do more. During my treatment I lost muscle tone. I’m getting my strength back. I can use my hands and arms like before.”
Brenda is the assistant to the director of personnel at Xenia Community Schools. There for 48 years, she feels lucky to have such a great place to work as they allowed her to work half days until she was able to go back full-time. The grandmother of six loves her work and feels blessed to have the support of her husband, Homer, son, daughter and grandchildren. “They all keep me going everyday,” she added.
Brenda is also grateful for the Ruth McMillan Cancer Center at Greene Memorial Hospital. “They have been super, I could not have asked for a better group of people to care for me. They are friendly and just fabulous throughout this whole process.”
Brenda is cancer clear and goes in every three months for a check up. She continues to work with Brittany Stout and is excited she now able to go up and down the stairs again.
“I keep telling everyone I know about this program,” she added. “I want everyone to know just how great this program is and how it can help you. I will tell everyone I encounter how much Maple Tree has made big difference in my life.”
To learn more about Maple Tree Alliance and Ruth McMillan Cancer Center at Greene Memorial call 937-352-2000.