Pinc & Steel

Cancer Rehabilitation Trust


"I just wanted to let you know I had cancer treatment last year and really benefited from the PINC Program. I was an active person before my operation and found I needed something that allowed me to gain that independence back.

I thought the program was wonderful. I started getting results straight away. I was also having trouble sleeping and learning to breathe properly helped with this. I was able to focus and relax my mind. So as well as helping me physically, it definitely helped my well being too. My main focus was to gain strength that I had lost during my treatment and to gain confidence to get back into exercising without worrying about what I was and wasn’t allowed to do.

Since doing the programme I felt confident enough to return to the gym (with my new workout provided by my PINC Physio). I don’t think I would’ve felt comfortable doing so without going through this programme first. I have also suggested this programme to other ladies I know going through the same thing as I.

It’s hard to cope with everything that’s going on as well as finding something specially designed for Cancer patients. It’s not like just walking into a gym and going up to any trainer and asking for help because you could cause more damage if they haven’t been trained in this sort of thing.

I found the program to be very beneficial to my recovery. I am going to have more surgery tomorrow and I feel more confident in my recovery knowing I have a programme I can use afterwards. Especially designed just for me.

Many thanks"




"I found the PINC programme fantastic! It's not something I would have thought I needed before I got sick and it wouldn't have been a priority (for financial reasons) after my surgery. Having the funded sessions was great. My physio was brilliant, helpful and positive. She worked with me and my limits and the targeted exercises helped increase movement and reduce fatigue, exactly like she said they would!

I enjoyed the exercises and did them faithfully and this, no doubt, played a bit part in my healing. I now have much more strength and mobility in my shoulder and also in other areas that she targeted. It wasn't targeted at just recovery from cancer but an improved overall wellness.
Having completed the 5 sessions, I signed up for Pilates classes with my physio as I found her to be so supportive and easy to work with.
I would HIGHLY recommend this programme (and have done) to anyone in a similar situation and cannot stress its value enough.




"After surgery, chemo & radiation, my body had taken a bit of a battering. My STEEL Physio did an exceptional job assessing what my current limits were, and identifying potential improvements through the right exercises and manual physiotherapy. Before STEEL, I had given up on being able to do some basic types of movement, which other people would take for granted. STEEL made a huge difference to me - it gave me a sense of normal movement, and removed the feeling of being permanently limited from my treatment. I would highly recommend Steel to other cancer patients - it has been an exceptional way to return flexibility & strength post-treatment, beyond what I had thought were my limits."




"My PINC Physio was fantastic, she was sensitive to my experience, while also encouraging me to push myself a little within a safe range.

Understandably, I had a lot of anxieties floating about, but my PINC physio was reassuringly well-informed on the issues I was confronting (real and imagined!) from having a bilateral mastectomy, especially my concern over developing lymphoedema. She took time assessing where I was at, including carefully recording my arm measurements. Her approach to the sessions was gentle, yet the exercises were substantial and beneficial. She has a particularly strong knowledge of anatomy which showed in the way she explained the technique and purpose of each exercise. She also provided me with illustrated instructions on exercises I could do at home in between sessions, and these have been very helpful.

 I found that participating in the PINC Programme helped tremendously in my recovery, on a number of levels – from increased strength and range of movement, to the mental reintegration of the affected part of my body to the rest. As a result, I became less tentative and more confident of what my body could cope with. One of the key benefits for me is that these sessions have helped me accept my changed body, and to realise its strength. I feel proud of the way in which my body has coped with the somewhat brutal trauma of surgery and chemotherapy, and the PINC sessions have certainly contributed to that.

The benefits of the Programme have been such that I have now enrolled for twice-weekly group pilates classes with my physio.

I am spreading the word about PINC Programme (and Steel) among fellow cancer patients.

Best wishes with the continuation of the programme."




"To Rachel my STEEL Cancer Rehab Physio

I want to thank you for the care and attention you have shown to me during the 10 STEEL rehab sessions I have had with you.

I came to you for professional help having just completed 39 days of extensive radiation treatment for advanced and aggressive prostate cancer and also undergoing hormone treatment. I had put myself under the best mainstream medical care available in this country, now it was time to deal with the ongoing after effects of these treatments. The muscle wasting and weight gain of the hormone treatment worried me, and I was concerned about apparent radiation damage to my bowel, all recognised complications after the treatments.

Having enrolled, the first thing I noticed was that you had a genuine compassion for me as a client/patient, and you encouraged me to work with you to get the best result possible for me. That motivated me to work even harder to achieve what I wanted. Your care and attention for me continued right through the sessions and I always left feeling that, “someone cared for me”. Thank you for that, I needed it.

There is no doubt that my bowel health has improved due to the exercises, and tests at the end of the sessions show that my general fitness has also improved. This is a testament to the STEEL rehab system; sure, I had to work on it, but you always motivated me to do my best. I will continue to do this now my sessions have finished; I can picture you wagging your finger at me if I slip up now.

I also want to thank the PINC & STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Trust  for helping me with the cost. I am not a wealthy person and am grateful to them for the financial assistance they gave me.

So thank you Rachel, not only for your professionalism in your work, but also for your care and understanding of what is a very bad time in my life. You have helped me immensely.

Best wishes to you, and the STEEL team"


Havelock North

" Being diagnosed with breast cancer a few months after my retirement was definitely not on my bucket list. But it happened and I found the following months a journey to be endured. In the literature you are given you are told that at times you will feel like a piece of meat - being treated, tested, handled and generally wondering where the personal treatment went.

Then I walked into Physio Alive at McLaren Vale. This is where I found compassion for the journey that I had been on. I didn't know about the Pinc Program and my Physio took the time to explain how she could help the many side effects, some of which I was unaware, I was feeling from surgery and treatments.

I felt 'cared for' immediately. The financial costs of the previous months had taken a toll on my savings so to be offered some of the treatments care of fund raising efforts was so unexpected and appreciated. I have enjoyed hydro therapy sessions with a qualified Physio and intense treatments on my back which has helped enormously.

Thank you to the people who raise money for this wonderful program so cancer patients can receive extra care and attention at the end of a difficult treatment cycle."

From Lisa

South Australia


"A note to express my gratitude and sincere thanks for the PINC programme and physiotherapists I was able to access after my breast surgery in October 2013. While the diagnosis and initial surgery was a shock to the system, it was being able to gain quick access to Alana Malcolm, my PINC physio at Accelerate Physiotherapy in Invercargill which was my saviour. I was due to return to a second surgery within twelve days after the initial one and seriously doubted my ability to be able to manage.

I cannot even to imagine how different my recovery would have been if I had been left to flounder without seeking support during the early weeks. On discharge from hospital I felt left in the dark. It was the total package offered by PINC which made the difference.

Living in Invercargill often means that services offered in the major cities are not always extended to the South.

Ultimately it can result in a lesser quality of life with slower recovery for women with cancer simply because of location. While surgery and treatment is readily available, this is only one part of recovery and rehabilitation for women with cancer. Therefore it is vital that women have the same opportunities as their counterparts in other centres to be able to access services and resources which provide rehabilitation programmes for women.

Thanks so much to everyone at the PINC & STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Trust."




"The PINC Program was very beneficial for my recovery. I had one on one and all the attention I needed from my PINC physio.

My program was designed to deal with issues I was having post surgery. The exercises were very beneficial in getting me moving pain free and the physio actually did quite a bit of massage on my scars too, which was good for me as I just couldn't bring myself to touch or feel the scars and now I've hardly got any scars visible.

 I found that pilates side of the program was so beneficial as well and my core has never felt so strong. I'm continuing to do exercises the PINC physio recommended at home as well.

Thanks so much to everyone involved in this fantastic program."




"After two major cancer operations, post operative cancer treatment and open heart surgery, I knew something wasn’t right. I struggled for breath, I struggled to do things as I normally would have. I was run down, unfit and unhappy.

A friend of mine who was being treated for a sports injury by Andy Schmidt at Active Physio in Albany told me that Andy had been talking about a Programme for cancer patients known as the Steel Program. I rang Andy and paid a visit. The short version is that Andy and his great team gave me back my quality of life. I found out exactly what was wrong with me and what I could do to alleviate the cumulative damage of those operations and debilitating cancer treatment.

The slow, steady and purposeful course of rehabilitation turned my condition back into something close to how I was prior to my problems.

I still attend regular weekly Steel Pilates sessions and am constantly amazed at how I have been able to turn things around."

All thanks to STEEL  and Andy Schmidt. 




"Surgery and chemotherapy attacked my body, not just the cancer in my breast. Thanks to the 5 funded sessions I was given in the PINC Program, I was able to start working on regaining the range of movement I had lost through bed rest and surgery, and was given advice tailored to me personally to help me get back to normal. It was a time when loss of income and extra medical bills meant that I could not afford this type of one on one treatment otherwise. It really helped to meet a physio who knew what cancer treatment does to the body and how to work with me in productive ways, without overdoing it, at my own pace.

I can't thank you enough for these valuable sessions, they were big stepping stones on my path to physical recovery! I think every woman with breast cancer would benefit from this program, both physically and mentally. I feel more positive now.

Thank you"