October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we're excited to share some stories of some of our #EdgeStrongWomen who have kicked cancers butt! We'll be posting stories all month long as part of our Strong Women Series. Keep reading for some inspiring stories from our members and staff!
"I am 50 years old and I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March, a few days before the state of NJ went on lock-down. I had a routine mammogram in early March and they saw a spot that needed to be biopsied which turned out to be cancer. It was stage 1 but it had left the tumor area and went into the lymph nodes. I had a lumpectomy in early April. No one in my family was able to go with me. My husband had to drop me off at the hospital door and then come back and pick me up at the hospital door after surgery. I started chemo at the end of May which lasted until mid-July. Again, no one could come keep me company for the 4 hours I was in chemo each time. I started radiation in Mid-August and it just ended this week!! Throughout this whole process I feel very blessed for the timing. Despite the isolation during surgery and also during chemo and radiation, for me, COVID was the best time to go through all of this. Because no one else was allowed to have elective procedures/surgeries due to COVID-19, this sped up the pre-admission testing and surgery date. I was diagnosed and had surgery within 3 weeks. I don't think this would have happened so quickly had it not been for COVID. And when I had to stay home due to a compromised immune system, the rest of NJ was stuck at home as well. So I don't even feel like I missed out on anything for all the months I was in treatment. I feel very blessed to have had so many family and friends praying for me, bringing me care packages and sending me encouraging cards. I have recently started to get back out into the world and I am looking forward to getting back to The Edge to help regain some of my strength. Hope to see you there as well!" -Christine M.
"I am an RPM instructor for The Edge Fitness Club in St. Peters, MO. Back in 2010, I was an avid fitness buff and went in for a routine mammogram. The doctors told me that I had Stage 1 Breast Cancer and needed a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. I was baffled because I had NO family history and I later found out that nor was I a carrier of the gene mutation for breast cancer but somehow I HAD BREAST CANCER. With all of the changes that my body was going through with surgery, chemo and radiation, I desperately wanted normalcy. My normal was working out (lifting weights and riding RPM) everyday. I worked out continuously throughout all of the months of chemo and radiation treatments. My gym-routine-normalcy is what kept me happy and sane during what was such a dark time for me medically. I am a proud 10 year breast cancer survivor, and I now love sharing my fitness dedication with my Edge RPM riders and fitness family." - Amy K.
"I went to Zumba at The Edge in Hamden this morning, like I do each week. I was dancing, enjoying myself and when my song came on, my instructor Natalie Kikkenborg invited me up front, like she does from time to time. As I'm dancing, I come face to face with this woman and my heart skipped a beat and my eyes started to tear up a little. At the end of class I approached the woman. "Dr. Chagpar?" I said. "Yes" she replied. "I knew that was you. Thank you so much!" We embraced. That woman was one of the people who saved my life. She was my oncologist surgeon who actually took the cancer out of my body. I shared 60 minutes dancing and enjoying life in the same room with the woman who played a part in extending it. God is so good. You never know why things come together like they do, but God knows all! Such a blessing!!! #Survivor 🙌🏾 #BreastCancerAwareness 🎀 #Zumba 💃🏾 #GodsGrace 🙏🏾" - Telissa W.
"Challenges are what makes life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful"