Moving Beyond

Breast cancer survivor and nurse creates program to help those diagnosed with cancer

By Stephanie Dolan

It’s hard to get past some things. Life is fraught with unexpected ups and downs, and some of those downs come with a lot of baggage. Like cancer. Never mind just getting past the moment you hear the diagnosis when the fear sets in and you wonder if you’ve just been given a death sentence. With each day, a new worry crops up and you feel alone, wondering how you will ever get on the other side of this tremendous setback in life.

That is where a program like Moving Beyond comes into play. Developed in 2015 by Kim Ziner and Dr. Erica Rager, the program’s focus is on a patient’s journey through cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

A breast cancer survivor herself, Ziner treats each class as a small group with many opportunities to offer individualized care and attention.

“What we do in the program is evidence-based,” Ziner said. “It’s based in science. Shelly Ferguson is our healthy lifestyle coach. She’s certified in exercise and has ways of helping people exercise no matter where they are in treatment. We also have licensed mental health counselors. They counsel patients through diagnosis and treatment and through Moving Beyond. Those are the two most important things for people to hear. We want to tell them the best things they need to know at their care point. We can individualize their care around what they need at the moment.”

Kim Ziner is a nurse at Franciscan Health Cancer Center. (Photos by Neal Smith)

Guests also come into the program to discuss things like financial and spiritual well-being.

“It was wonderful,” Millie Martin of Center Grove said.

Marin was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in 2017.

“The doctor suggested I go through Moving Beyond,” she said. “I was dealing as a caregiver for my husband, and my doctor suggested it for my spiritual well-being. The encouragement I received and information on how to take care of myself and handle stress … between the cancer and my husband it was wonderful.”

Martin said she learned how to handle stress and balance her nutritive intake.

“They’ll even visit the grocery store, and teach you how to read labels on products,” she said. “It’s a closeness – meeting the people. It’s such an encouragement. Listening to other people share what they’re going through is very helpful.”

Someone else who found it helpful was Kim Mullaly of Beech Grove.

“I just completed the Moving Beyond program,” she said. “It was educational. When I heard about the program, I was afraid it was going to be more like a support group, and that wasn’t what I was really wanting. I had enough of those woe-is-me-times in my life, but it turns out I was educated on medicines and on treatments – stuff I hadn’t even heard about from my doctor.”

Kim Mullaly, left, and Mille Martin practice exercising with stretch bands as Kim Ziner instructs them.

Mullaly was diagnosed in February and is still going through treatment.

“The program is just done with love and support and Christian stewardship, and I think that’s important,” she said. “It’s not a clinical setting, which is nice. When you first hear you have cancer, so many people just bombard you with love and support, but then it stops and they all go home and you’re left and still need someone. This group is that someone that you can still talk about it and have your anxiety even when everyone thinks treatment is over and you’re OK. You still need that.”

“The program is at no cost to our survivor and caregiver participants,” Ziner said. “We do fundraising every year with our St. Francis Health Foundation and our 24-hour biking/walking event scheduled for next June. Moving Beyond is a beneficiary of that event every year.”

Ziner is a nearly 30-year cancer survivor.

“I was diagnosed around this time of year 29 years ago,” she said. “This time of year is a time for celebration as well as a little angst. I try to concentrate on the positives and celebrating birthdays. Almost 30 years ago, I had no idea I’d be turning 65 and living well. It’s a great cause for celebration.”

To learn more about Moving Beyond, contact Ziner at (317) 528-1412.

Ziner was inspired to begin Moving Beyond after her own breast cancer diagnoses.

Five Questions with Kim Ziner

Who or what inspires you? I am inspired by Mother Theresa and how she lived her life, and I’m also inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt. I think they’re very strong women who lived very meaningful lives in very tough times. I’m also inspired by the team of people I work with in Moving Beyond who give their best in each and every class. They’re fabulous people and professionals, and I’m inspired to do my best every day.

What are you currently reading, or what have you most recently read? The Obesity Code by Dr. Phung … I do a long commute, so I listen to many audiobooks. I’m an avid mystery fan. I just finished Mistletoe Mysteries by P.D. James. Currently I’m reading The Great Gatsby. I think F. Scott Fitzgerald was a great voice for his generation.

What’s your favorite TV Show? I don’t watch much TV. I like a TV show from Masterpiece on PBS called Endeavor.

What’s your favorite movie? Casablanca

Do you have any pets? I love dogs. Right now, I’m down to one and she is a hybrid mix – half Shih Tzu and half poodle. She rules the house.