“I think my entire interaction with Above + Beyond Cancer and particularly the people that are involved with it, remind me everyday not only the importance of my own health, but the importance of being a part of something bigger. I’m not a cancer survivor, yet Above + Beyond Cancer gives me the gift of health and happiness.”

Sam Carrell, a supporter of Above + Beyond Cancer since conception, donates time and resources to elevate the lives of people touched by cancer. Sam logs countless hours, supporting team mates, as they train for local events and transformational journeys, like the Million Dollar Marathon.

“I think whenever you embrace something bigger than yourself, the quality of your life improves exponentially. Witnessing Kathy Winnehan and Angela Freese complete their segments of the Million Dollar Marathon and my small role in it, was one of those moments that will be top of mind forever. Watching their joy at completing such a daunting task, on such a hot day…pushing through the long hours on the road and then during those wee hours past midnight when they finally finished, kissing the road…it’s a moment that brought ME great happiness.”

Studies emphasize many healthy benefits of giving and gratitude:

* Decreased Stress Levels
* Increased Happiness
* Less Depression
* Lower Blood Pressure
* Increased Life Expectancy
* Greater self-worth
* Improved Sleep

Researchers from the National Institute of Health, in a 2006 study, reported an increase of endorphins associated with giving, creating a “helpers high.” Scientists have also linked the production of endorphins to decreasing the intensity of chronic pain. Oxytocin, a hormone partnered with feelings of euphoria, may also release when one gives generously.

Sheryl Terlouw, an Above + Beyond Cancer “caregiver,” climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro while uplifting cancer survivors with encouragement, a kind heart and endless support. “My ABC journey was only starting when we returned from Tanzania, “ said Sheryl, who also volunteered with the Race Across America Team, running in the Million Dollar Marathon and other fund raising events. “While all of these have been great events for a great cause, one thing has impacted me personally more than anything…the family I met through ABC is literally part of my every-day life for which I will be eternally grateful. I have the privilege of putting life into context each morning and am reminded of the precious gift of friendship I have been given. Because I have been blessed, I can’t help but want to pass it on through contributing to a cause greater than myself and for me that has been ABC.”

Ignite your “Helpers High”

Looking for a healthy cause that will boost your health? Join Above + Beyond Cancer’s Family of volunteers, and make a difference in your community AND your mental and physical well being. Celebrate with us, at our third annual fundraising Gala, on Saturday, May 31st. Get your tickets here!

“Being involved with Above + Beyond Cancer events, has been life changing for me. It has opened my eyes to the challenges that cancer survivors face and overcome… and show me to appreciate the finer things in life,” says Jon Kallen, a volunteer ambassador and fundraiser for Above + Beyond Cancer since 2013. “My volunteering has helped me to look inward and become more reflective and appreciate life’s blessings”

Mary Van Heukelom
Program Director

Mary Van Heukelom is a Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer who trains, educates and coaches cancer survivors to reduce the chance of relapse, through holistic personal wellness programs addressing all aspects of healthy living.

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