Cancer Survivors and Physical Therapy

A special program is helping young cancer survivors, as well children with other health problems, to get back on their feet so they can play their favorite sports again.

Jackson Amiruddin loves to run and play like most 7 year olds. "I like to play baseball, football, and basketball."

For years, he didn't have the energy or strength to keep up because he was fighting leukemia, but this program is helping Jackson and other kids battling cancer and health problems get back to participating in sports they love. It's called "Back in the Game."

Paul Fick, director of Back in the Game and a professional physical therapist, says, "We developed a program to help these kids recondition themselves, regain their balance, flexibility, and strength."

This is the 10th year of the program. It's helped about 150 kids since it started.

Kyle Dorr competed for his school swim team before he was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2014. He started Back in the Game a year ago. "Over the course of the year, I could do more and more, and now I can go through the whole program without having to rest."

Kyle plans to swim on his high school's swim team this November.

And the benefits are not just physical. Robert Dorr, Kyle's dad, explains, "It's building him up again, building up his confidence again. It's showing him he's been through this, but he can be normal again."

Jackson has been coming to the program since he was 3 years old. "I made new friends, and that I get stronger every time I come."

Shaun Amiruddin, Jackson's dad, says, "They make it so fun. It takes their mind off treatment. It lets them focus on being a kid and being able to be with other kids going through the same thing."

Therapists at Back in the Game suggest parents of children with cancer get permission from their kids' physicians before starting to exercise again.

Segment Sponsored by: Mercy Health System