by LINDA FRABL

After undergoing breast cancer surgery, it is difficult for women to get back into a regular fitness regimen. Having a mastectomy or a lumpectomy frequently results in loss of mobility in the shoulders and arms, as well as breathing difficulties associated with weakened abdominal muscles, and even weight gain due to steroid drug use. The Pink Ribbon Program, a physical conditioning treatment plan geared specifically for breast cancer post-op survivors, has enabled survivors to recover quickly with promising results.

Marylene Rosa Kuhlmann, a 4S Ranch-based certified Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist with the Pink Ribbon Program (the only one in San Diego for the time being), lost her own friend to breast cancer 12 years ago. Shortly thereafter, while studying for her certification in Fitness Training, Marylene came across the Pink Ribbon Program’s website and discovered that its founder, Doreen Puglisi, is an exercise instructor/physiologist who had her own double mastectomy. After attending the program’s workshop at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Reno, Marylene recalled, “I immediately knew that I would bring the Pink Ribbon Program to San Diego and that I would devote my career to helping the fighters and survivors.”

The program provides two individualized sessions a week (each session lasts 30-45 minutes) for a period of eight weeks. In her studio, Personally Fit, Inc., Marylene uses a Dyna band (elastic band) and a Stability ball to help her clients with warm-ups, personalized exercises, and stretching. She added, “My goal is to make my clients feel better and walk taller on every single session we spend together. SeeingPinkRibbonProgramLogo

their transformation is so rewarding!”

The whole experience has allowed Marylene to become much more than just a fitness instructor; she is also a caring supporter advocating the best treatment for her clients. She elaborated, “I am somebody who my clients can call at any time, even if it’s just to give them advice on nutrition. For the ones who are still going through chemo or radiation therapy, I am part of the team of specialists communicating with their oncologist and their physician. Friendships with my clients are established quickly.” Marylene is currently developing a cancer fitness program for other types of cancer patients. She is dedicated to helping people accomplish goals to improve their quality of life.

For more information on the Pink Ribbon Program or other fitness related questions, visit www.pinkriboonprogram.com or contact Marylene directly.