Breast Cancer SUCCESS

Pam_Cancer-Free-v2
These are the final days of October and Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) month is coming to an end. So far, we have had over 150 new members sign up this month with 50% of their card fee being donated back to breast cancer research. Additionally, we have sold 25 of our exclusive BCA t-shirts – again, with 50% being donated back. Which means at this point, we have raised over $1,000 and there is still time to be a part of this great effort! As tomorrow approaches, it is easy to get wrapped up with all of the Halloween excitement and maybe even overwhelmed with the upcoming holidays. We want to ask you to stay in the moment and help us see this PINK campaign all the way to the end. To assist us in doing that, we have an extra special story to share. The women we have previously celebrated have enjoyed many years of being cancer free, we now want to introduce you to someone who is just beginning her journey.

At 53 years old, Pam has not been a stranger when it comes to mammograms. Many years ago, it was actually a routine mammogram that revealed her condition of fibrocystic cists, also loosely described as “lumpy breasts.” Pam was accustomed to being told that she would need to be checked further, so she was not too concerned when the radiologist told her that there was a spot. Pam responded, “No, it’s fine. I just need to get a sonogram.” But when the radiologist said, “No, that’s not what we are dealing with, this needs to be looked at right now…” things began to change for Pam. The radiologist went on to say that she was likely dealing with cancer. With absolutely no family history of cancer, the news hit Pam and her family pretty hard. It was shocking and scary for her husband as well as her adult children. She had been running her own bookkeeping business and Pam decided that it was good timing to end her business and focus on herself.

It was just over three months ago that Pam underwent two surgeries and ended up having an apple-sized tumor removed. She was and is grateful to have escaped chemotherapy, but she has begun radiation. The good news though is that Pam has been cancer free for one month and says, “It feels really good!” Additionally, she has found comfort and a means of release by becoming a member of GIVE Fitness. “I started using exercise as part of my recovery from surgery, I had a training session with Cory and it was great!” Pam went on to say that her mental and physical states continue improving, as she knows that she is getting back in shape. “I was not in motion and I know that a body in motion stays in motion…if I can beat cancer, I know I can beat this fat!” Pam started by walking slowly on the treadmill here and there, but now she is in the gym early in the morning Monday through Friday.

Her family is relieved and very proud of Pam’s victory over cancer. Personally, Pam is excited to remain in the fight by participating in cancer walks and/or support groups. She embraces the idea that her story may help others become more aware and could ultimately save lives. Her message to other women is: “Get your mammograms! No matter your age, no matter your health history…if you are a woman, GO!” We are so grateful to have Pam as a GIVE Fitness member and we are honored to share her story! As we close out Breast Cancer Awareness month, let’s remind ourselves that there are so many stories out there like Pam or our other incredible survivors. We also recognize that some have lost their battle. Cancer is an ugly disease that we all must continue to fight against. Thank you to those of you that have participated in our GO PINK campaign in any capacity – together, we all make a difference!

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WIN Disney Tickets at AHS Football Game

AHS FOOTBALL_DISNEY

Tonight is Homecoming at Atascadero High School and GIVE Fitness would like to send someone to Disneyland, for FREE! The Greyhounds will be taking on Righetti High School at 7:00pm and the GIVE Fitness tent will be set up near the main entrance beginning at 5:00pm. We have made “GO GREYHOUNDS” signs powered by GIVE Fitness that are available to customize however you would like. The signs are provided for FREE and we want to see everyone get creative! Once your sign is made, you’ll take a picture of it and post the photo to instagram using the hashtag: #ahshomecoming2014

We will be monitoring the hashtag through the first two quarters of the game and at halftime, the most creative sign will be announced as the winner of 2 Park Hopper Passes to Disneyland/California Adventure! We want to see the bleachers filled with Orange & Grey signs and we’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with! Help us spread the word: It’s FREE and it will be a lot of FUN!

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This Single Mom Kicked Cancer

Terri cancer free

We are now halfway through October and Breast Cancer Awareness month. Our PINK campaign is still in full force and we have been getting a great response. With new members, t-shirt sales and even extra donations, we have already raised nearly $600 to donate back to breast cancer research. Some of our efforts have also prompted others to share their stories with us, and we are so grateful for that! We know that this disease is far reaching and has affected so many people. It is our sincere hope that we can all collectively strive to increase awareness and prevention. Today, we have a story of another victorious fighter and we are excited to celebrate her.

Things are different when you grow up knowing that your grandmother had fallopian tube cancer, that your mother also had fallopian tube cancer, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer. That is how she grew up though and Terri Ahfield knew from a very early age that she too had the gene putting her at high risk for all three types of cancer.  But when she felt lumps in her armpit at age thirty-five, she thought it was way too early. When she first visited her doctor, the direction she got was to stop shaving her armpits. Terri even laughed when sharing that piece of information because she knew it was something more. She pushed a little harder with the doctor and was able to receive a referral to see a surgeon. As soon as the surgeon saw her arm, he immediately gave her the news that she expected.

Terri had Stage 3 breast cancer as a single mom. She was not shocked by the news; she was surprised though at how far along it was. Her son was nine years old and her daughter was thirteen. Terri was working as a server at AJ Spurs and also as a dental assistant. She said when she met with her oncologist, she remembers walking right in and saying, “Do what you gotta do, I’m not done being a mom yet.” She had nineteen cancerous lymph nodes removed and endured eight rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. She continued to work and raise her kids, since she didn’t have much of a choice as a single mother.  She fought through the treatment and ended up receiving a double mastectomy. Two years later, Terri decided to have a full hysterectomy that would completely eliminate all body parts that her family gene targets. “I’ve always felt kind of lucky that I could just remove the parts at risk for me. If it were brain cancer, that would have been a different story.”  Her perspective is incredibly positive and admirable!

Terri said, “I feel like being young, healthy and active gave me an advantage in my battle.” She continues to be active today and maintains her health. While she doesn’t typically participate in many cancer-related events, she is happy to share her story with us and help increase awareness. Terri’s message to other women is “Know yourself and fight for yourself. No one will fight for you. If you know something is wrong, make them fix it!” Her story is also another good reminder not to assume that you are too young and that getting checked annually is very important. Terri has been cancer free for eight years now and her battle is firmly in her past.

GIVE Fitness still has exclusive Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirts available for sale at the gym and 50% of all sales will be donated back to breast cancer research. We will also continue donating 50% of all new member card fees during the month of October. Let’s keep working together to GO PINK this month and do our part in this fight against cancer!

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9 1/2 Years Cancer FREE

NANCY cancer free

October being “Breast Cancer Awareness” month means quite a bit more than the onslaught of PINK! While we are happy to join the cause and do our part to incorporate pink into this month, we would also like to take some time to celebrate victorious women in the hopes that their stories will further increase awareness and prevention of this awful disease. We further hope that any ladies out there currently battling breast cancer may find some inspiration from these women that have paved the way to keep fighting.

Nancy Normile was working as a medical assistant and office manager, as she does now in a pediatric office. She had a sixteen-year-old daughter, twelve-year-old son and also a two-year-old son when she first felt a small lump in her arm. Despite that both of her grandmothers had breast cancer, Nancy thought that at thirty-nine years old – it was too early, so it couldn’t be. She was even able to let out a sigh of relief when a biopsy came back negative and she was told to come back in six months. When the lump began changing, it was cause for concern and she attempted to return to the doctor early. Unfortunately, her insurance carrier would not allow her to be seen prior to the six-month waiting period from the previous visit. By the time she made it back to the doctor, Nancy had to have fourteen lymph nodes removed and eight of them were found to cancerous.

She began a rigorous schedule of chemotherapy and radiation that lasted around six months. Nancy says, “It was very important to me that my kids didn’t see me sick. I had to stay strong for them. I never stopped working and I never stopped exercising at least twice a week.” She went on to say that she attributes much of her success to maintaining a positive attitude. She said that staying busy and remaining positive is what helped her win the fight. She shouldered so much of the weight by herself and shielded her family from the pain that accompanies cancer. Nancy’s oldest daughter tells her, “I always knew you’d be okay” and that is simply a testament to Nancy’s strength and independence.

“It is something that used to stay in the back of my mind, like a shadow following me around.” That is how Nancy described the time after her treatment, up until about two years ago. She was getting biopsies every year and she wanted to rid herself of that lurking shadow. It was a double mastectomy and reconstruction that she says completely freed her mentally! Today, Nancy has been cancer free for nine and a half years and her doctor told her that the cancer road is a “dead end.” She decided after five years of being cancer free to get a commemorative tattoo and with ten years quickly approaching, she’s planning to get another!  Nancy is grateful for opportunities that create awareness and ultimately promote prevention. In years past, her family has participated in Relay for Life and she has also been a part of a Young Cancer Support Group for individuals under the age of 60. Nancy’s message to other women is “Don’t wait. Don’t assume you are too young, and trust your instincts. Go get an exam, go see a surgeon, do what it takes…check, check, CHECK!”

Maintaining an active lifestyle is something that remains important to Nancy and we are so grateful to have her as a GIVE Fitness member! Please join us in celebrating her and look for more stories of celebration in the coming weeks. Also, we would love to hear of other brave women that have battled this awful disease. We understand that not all have won the fight, so feel free to share your stories that honor, remember, or celebrate. More than anything, it is our hope that we can create more awareness this month that will lead to earlier detection/prevention and ultimately save lives! We have exclusive GIVE Fitness/Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirts available for sale at the gym and 50% of all sales will be donated back to breast cancer research. We will also be donating 50% of all new member card fees during the month of October. Let’s all work together to GO PINK this month and do our part in this fight against cancer!

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