First Steps - The Story of Healthy-Steps
In 1979, Sherry Lebed Davis' mother, Rita, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Losing her breast and knowing that this disease had already claimed the lives of her mother and her sister was too much for her. First she stopped smiling, and then she stopped fighting. Sherry and her brothers knew they had to so something for their mother. Sherry had been a professional dancer and teacher for fifteen years, and her brothers were both physicians and surgeons. Together they developed The Lebed Method, Focus on Healing, now known as Healthy-Steps, a medically sound program designed to help their mother to thrive again.
For their mother, this creative, therapeutic exercise program gave her back the range of motion in her arm. More importantly, it brought back her smile. Dr. Marc Lebed, Dr. Joel Lebed and Sherry Lebed Davis, knew they had to give this gift to others who were suffering just as their mother had. Sherry began by working with breast cancer survivors at several major Medical Centers in Philadelphia, including Albert Einstein Medical Center in 1980.
The journey Sherry began with her mother came full circle in 1996, the year that Sherry was diagnosed with breast cancer. Sherry had found many techniques helpful, but exercise and dance gave her the spirit to live and be able to have a better quality of life. In 1999 Sherry was diagnosed with Lymphedema so Dr. Marc Lebed and Sherry Lebed Davis developed new therapeutic movements to decrease swelling in the affected limb.
Since then, Healthy-Steps has been used to improve the physical and emotional well-being of people living with a wide range of other chronic illnesses and diseases, with astounding results. A children’s program, “Creative Rhythms” was also developed to address the special needs of children living with these illnesses.
In 2000 Sherry and Dr. Marc Lebed put together a three day certification training program to train others to teach Healthy-Steps. The "Train the Trainer" program was started in 2002 in order to reach more people wanting to be certified and licensed to teach Healthy-Steps. Certification trainings are now offered in the US and over 14 countries internationally.
In 2007, Bonnie Vermillion took the Instructor class in Denton, Texas that Sherry taught. In 2010, she enrolled in Sherry’s “Train the Trainer” program. In 2014, she became a master trainer (able to train new trainers) and later that year acquired the Healthy-Steps/Lebed Method Program from the Lebed family. The current Medical Director is John M. Macdonald, MD, FACS from the University of Miami and the hospital Bernard Mevs in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.