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Not even cancer scares Mike Knoop.
 
The retired Minot Police officer was diagnosed with lymphoma in March, and he never let it bring him down. “I’ve never been scared, worried or bothered the whole time,” he had cancer, he said.
 
Doctors caught his lymphoma early enough, and it was easily treated, but even then, Mike underwent chemotherapy treatments for a few months.
 
And he found several things to help keep him upbeat. “I had a real positive attitude,” he said. And a strong faith. “I was on prayer chains from one end of the country to the other. People I didn’t even know were praying for me.”
 
And he found another tool to help him out. The Trinity Health Cancer Exercise Rehab program at the Minot Family YMCA was a great asset for him. Even before the cancer diagnosis, the 64 year old was thinking, “I need to get back into shape.” And after cancer treatment began, he decided, “Well, shoot, let’s get started on it.”
 
He connected with Russell Gust, Exercise Physiology Coordinator at the Trinity Program, who put him on a twelve week session. The program is designed to help cancer patients and survivors, to gain back their strength and quality of life after treatment. Mike was faithful about attending sessions. “Physically, it got me back again, and mentally, it got me going,” he said. “When they tell you you have cancer, you say, ‘Wow, what do I do?’” The exercise program gave him something to look forward to.
 
Mike, who retired in 2004, taught classes and worked on a research project at Minot State University and now works for a funeral home in town. Having lymphoma never worried him. “I was never worried or bothered by it,” he said. “When I got done with my chemo, it was, ‘I got through this mess, and whatever comes my way, I can handle.’” Mike and his wife Alice have a son, a daughter and son-in-law, and three young grandsons who live a few miles outside Minot. “I look forward to watching them grow up.”
 
And he would recommend the Trinity Cancer Exercise Rehab program to anyone. “Most definitely,” he said. “It does you good to get up, get some exercise, and build up your strength.”
 
With cancer, “You get sick, you come home, you don’t feel sorry for yourself but look at this exercise program and it builds you up again, and gives you something to look forward to.”
 
The program is funded in part by the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign, in conjunction with the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo. The Tough Enough to Wear Pink fundraiser raises money through the sale of t-shirts and other pink merchandise at the North Dakota State Fair, and WGO and the Zoo radio remotes throughout the Minot area. In the past six years, it has raised over $307,000 for the program. SRT is also a sponsor of the program.
 
The Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo will host a Tough Enough to Wear Pink night on Fri., October 11. Fans are asked to wear pink, and the t-shirts will be on sale that night. For more information on the rodeo, visit MinotYsMensRodeo.com or call 701.852.5577. Tickets can be purchased online at the rodeo’s website.
701.852.6000 1020 20th Ave Sw, Minot, ND 58701
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