The story and inspiration behind Knight’s Cabin starts in the early 2000s and is recounted below by its founder and president, Dr. Lisa Bélanger.
While I was in my last year of high school, my best friend was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was so frustrated, and felt like I was helpless. While my friend was going through treatments we would go for walks. This would increase her mood, help her sleep and improve her energy. I realized where I could help was with health behaviours. This inspired my PhD work studying the effects of exercise on cancer survivors. This is how I can make an impact.
After being involved in survivorship research, I became aware that simple behaviour such as starting an exercise program AFTER colon cancer diagnosis can reduce the chances of recurrence by 40–50%! For breast cancer survivors it is a 20–30% reduction. We don’t have a drug that come close to these statistics. Exercise also has some of the best side effects on the market — better sleep, reduced fatigue (number one complaint of survivors), reduced overall mentality and the list goes on. No one wants to spend their last years in sickness. This idea could help reduce health care costs, improve survivorship rates, but most importantly, add quality to the rest of someone’s life.
This information simply addresses the health behaviour I am most familiar with. You can imagine the impact of nutrition, sleep and stress management. The idea of being around a group of individuals who understand what you just went through and can help support you in your planning for the future can have a tremendous impact. Let’s focus on health. Taking survivorship to thrivership.
“Spending time in the outdoors can help a person with cancer truly come to his or her senses and feel restored and grounded again through the quiet, transformative big medicine of the natural world.” –Dr. David Victorson, Dept of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University