Dan Miller, founder of Live by Living, explains how the organization offers free outdoor experiences to people diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers.
Running time: 2:34
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Dan Miller: Hi, my name is Dan Miller. I’m the founder of Live by Living. We are a patient advocacy group that connects cancer survivors and caregivers with nature. We’ve been around for 11 years. We’re based in Colorado. We’re expanding to Iowa and Illinois this year. We offer everything from walks in the park to climbing 14,000-foot peaks and retreats for cancer survivors. Everything we do is free. If you’re interested in finding out more about us, check out our website, LivebyLiving.org. We have an email list to sign up for under the Contact tab, and we’re happy to answer any questions you might have.
Jamie DePolo: Let me ask you this. If somebody is in treatment or maybe is a little hesitant thinking, “I’m not sure if I can do this,” how do you address that?
Dan Miller: Certainly for people who live in Colorado our programs start with a walk in the park. So the walks in the park are just what they sound like, they’re flat, paved, usually a mile or less. For the most part, we’re not out there with Fitbits or anything. It’s getting people outside, connecting with other people who’ve been through something similar to what they’ve been through, and getting a little bit of exercise. Last year we did start an actual conditioning program. It’s called Cancer to 14K. So, the advanced track of that will get people up to those 14,000 foot peaks, and the beginner track, since not everybody wants to or is really going to be capable of climbing a 14,000-foot peak, we have other 14K goals. For example, a 14,000-step hike — that’s about 5.4 miles. Or it could be a 14,000-foot long hike.
Jamie DePolo: Now, what if somebody lives in a state where you are not? Do you offer perhaps suggestions or ideas for what they can do if they would like to do something similar?
Dan Miller: We certainly endorse the NCCN guidelines for exercise for survivors. We are hoping to spread to other states by making lots of friends here at ASCO. And of course, anybody from anywhere is welcome to come out for one of our retreats. We have a limited budget to help defray travel expenses. For people coming from lower elevation, we recommend the retreats that we do at Rocky Mountain National Park, because those are at lower altitude than the cabins that we go to, managed by the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association.