We have joyfully partnered with Live by Living to bring a new walking and hiking program to the rugged beauty of the southwest corner of Colorado! Live by Living was founded in 2008 by Dan Miller of north Denver. The program was inspired by the life of Julie Wrend, his wife of 15 years. Julie was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989 when she was 34 years old. After finding she had Stage IV breast cancer, she walked and hiked herself into shape, and hiked the Grand Canyon. Julie loved the outdoors, and considered the mountains and deserts to be her church. She drew great emotional, spiritual, and physical benefits from her outdoor adventures. Julie led her friends, family, and even strangers on a remarkable journey of self-discovery, caring and joy.
After losing Julie, Dan wanted to channel his sadness into something positive – he wanted to share the benefits that he and Julie received from being in nature with other people who are trying to deal with cancer. His vision is to bring Live by Living to communities across the country. Through Julie’s example, Live by Living harnesses the solace of nature and the health benefits of exercise. They also promote the camaraderie of shared experience to give survivors and their caregivers the skills to chart their own journey through life. To this day, the focus is on living — not on cancer.
The Southwest Chapter of the Live by Living program offers “Walks along the River” for people who are newly diagnosed, in treatment, post-treatment, families, and caregivers. We will be progressing to “Hikes in the Woods” for those who have achieved an increased level of fitness. The tenants of the Live by Living program is that by combing social support, physical activity and nature, a synergy will be created that will assist participants to improve their quality of life as they deal with the physical, emotional and psychological impacts living with a cancer diagnosis presents.
The Live by Living program is a non-profit organization, and the second charter of its program is sponsored by Blueprints of Hope here in southwest Colorado.