Jim McCutcheon treats his cancer like a chronic illness, refusing to let it control his life. The retired Hamilton firefighter prefers to focus on staying healthy so that he can enjoy family time with his wife, children and grandchildren.

Jim’s healthy lifestyle choices include regular workouts at the YMCA, where he also takes his grandchildren for swimming lessons.

Seven years ago, Jim was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. While there’s no cure for this type of cancer, it can be managed successfully for many years.

 As part of Jim’s recovery he joined CanWell, a 12-week exercise and education program for cancer survivors.  It’s part of Live Well, an innovate series of programs for people with chronic health issues that are offered through a partnership between the YMCA, Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University.

After finishing CanWell, Jim continued to exercise four times a week at the YMCA. He lifts light weights to build strength and uses the treadmill and recumbent bike for cardio. He also takes LiveWell pilates classes especially for people with chronic health issues.

 “It’s really important for me to keep my body moving,” says Jim. “As the saying goes, if you don’t use it you’ll lose it.”