One of the best things about the Survivor Fitness program is that we partner with fitness trainers who are all specialists in their field.
These trainers also have a deep understanding of the power of movement and the effect fitness can have on mental and emotional well-being. They have a strong desire to help others, and they use their extensive expertise to create personal, customized training programs for cancer survivors after difficult, painful, and exhausting treatments and surgeries.
Andrew Kerr, a fitness coach and personal trainer at D1 Training Hardin Valley in Knoxville, is a perfect example of a trainer who works with Survivor Fitness. He’s been helping individuals reach their fitness goals for years, and he understands the unique challenges that cancer survivors face.
This year, Devin Driscoll, the owner of D1 Training in Knoxville, joined the Survivor Fitness board, and he tapped Andrew to help run the program at their location. Andrew immediately jumped at the opportunity, and he’s now responsible for helping new participants connect with coaches at D1 Knoxville.
“When Devin came to me about running the program—and with the good I knew it would do—there was no way I was turning it down,” Andrew said. “While I love getting the chance to work with athletes, I knew the opportunity that Survivor Fitness created is something that truly makes an immediate impact on those in the community.”
Andrew’s passion for helping cancer survivors is also driven by a personal connection to the disease. Earlier this year, his dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, and Andrew saw firsthand the devastating effects that both the illness and its treatment can have on a person’s physical and mental health. That experience made him even more determined to help others affected by cancer.
“We all know someone who has had cancer. It affects every single person who has any attachment at all to the person diagnosed. I and the other trainers want to use what we know to hopefully help others to live longer and healthier lives.”
From Chemo to Cones: Inspiring Stories from Participants
As a personal trainer, Andrew has seen firsthand the positive impact that physical fitness can have on anyone’s mental and emotional health. He is continually inspired to see this transformation happen in Survivor Fitness participants.
“My favorite part is knowing that after the first few weeks, they are going to start enjoying what we are doing and how they feel,” Andrew said. “It’s like clockwork. They come in after two to three weeks, and the soreness goes away while the motivation kicks in. It’s a joy to watch.”
One particularly memorable Survivor Fitness participant for Andrew was Brenda. Brenda started the program when she was 88 years old and had just finished her chemo. She was also a senior league tennis champion who was determined to continue playing.
“Watching her train and run cones at her age with the motivation and energy she did was inspiring, to say the least,” Andrew said.
Advice for Survivors: Embracing Small Milestones
D1 Knoxville has already worked with around ten cancer survivors, and they are eager to increase that number in the years to come.
“Exercise is such an important feature of healing, and we want as many people as possible to have access to that,” Andrew said.
Andrew and his team are passionate about helping cancer survivors recognize and celebrate the small milestones that make a big difference to their overall health and wellness. The team at D1 understands that cancer affects the body in many different ways, so they encourage participants to start slowly and be patient with themselves.
“It’s not about how much you lift—it’s about how you lift it,” Andrew said. “I like to use things that relate to daily life. If you can get up and down easier, if you can take a walk and not be exhausted, if you can do yard work and just enjoy being outside… those are the things that matter after fighting for your life.”
Andrew’s experiences with the program have led him to be an advocate for Survivor Fitness in the Knoxville area. He encourages people who are considering the program to take the plunge and go for it.
“My grandmother always used to say, ‘Don’t talk about it, be about it,'” Andrew said. “As the son of a cancer survivor, I want him around for as long as possible, so give yourself every tool available to continue the fight.”
Join the Survivor Fitness Community
Andrew’s passion for Survivor Fitness is evident in his dedication to helping participants achieve their goals. He is a valuable partner, and we are grateful for his support.
If you are a personal trainer or fitness center that is interested in helping cancer survivors after treatment, please contact our team to learn how to become a part of the Survivor Fitness network.