You know we all go through life seeing other people go through hardships and we always think it will never happen to us. Until that moment when it does! Then, EVERYTHING simply STOPS! You are frozen, you are paralyzed by fear, you have no idea what to do next and for some time you wonder how you will ever go on! I remember the day that Katy was diagnosed so clearly that I can still to this day feel the emotions welling up inside me as I type this out.
My friend and also coach on my team Katy Ursta was having a rough morning and I didn't know why. So I called her on the way to my sons parent teacher conference. I wanted to check in and make sure she was ok! But as the conversation started I knew something was not ok! She proceeded to tell me how she went to the doctors office because of this lump in her armpit and how she was started on an antibiotic and it didn't clear up! She had recently had her 2nd son Dominic so she thought maybe it was mastitis. But when the antibiotic didn't clear it up the eyebrows were raised. She went into the doctors to have an ultrasound on the area done and immediately they took a biopsy and told her they were almost certain she had cancer! ALONE in that doctors office for a routine visit for what she thought was Mastitis turned into the most gut wrenching news of her life. (insert chills and tears as I type). I honestly cannot imagine that moment and what was going through her head as she sat there trying to absorb the information. Immediately she went from a new mom of a new little boy and a toddler, a teacher, a Beachbody Coach, and a wife trucking along on maternity leave living life to the fullest now setting up doctors appointments with oncologists, talking to insurance, getting a spinal tap, hearing the diagnosis that it was in fact cancer, and it was stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma and FEAR completely taking over! In a split second your perfect and normal life becomes turned upside down! I remember the day Katy came to my house to talk about the diagnosis and how the next 12 weeks were going to be really hard. She had a mass in her chest, and when the scan was completed her lymph nodes were lighting up. So the cancer was in quite a lot of places. We talked about what the next 12 weeks of treatment would look like, we talked about her purpose in life, and we came up with a game plan. Katy is a strong woman and this rocked her to the core (as it would anyone). But the one thing that I admire is that she got up every single day (for the most part) and pressed play. She didn't stop working out, stop eating healthy, stop coaching others, instead she decided that she was going to #punchcancerintheface and she was going to sweat for something bigger! When life got hard, she would sweat! When she wanted to give up, she would sweat! When the treatment knocked her down, she would sweat! No matter what she would always sweat through it! She would sweat out that cancer and it was the one thing that SHE could control in this journey! What was truly a way for her to stay in control of some part of this diagnosis began to inspire other people to sweat for something bigger. On days when she was feeling weak she used social media and asked people to sweat for her today! We would all come together, tag her in our posts and dedicate our workouts to her! It lifted her up, it gave her strength and she knew she was not alone!!! It was those moments that she felt a MESS that she CREATED her MASTERPIECE!
Katy endured a lot of hardships in 2014! Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma had nothing on her! She did 12 rounds of intense chemotherapy, she completely Piyo, T25, and various other Beachbody Workouts. She drank shakeology every day, she DIDN'T lose her hair (AMAZING), she became an Elite Coach for Team Beachbody for the 2nd year in a row which is the top .01% of the company! She is currently a 9 Star Diamond Coach, she left her full time teaching job to be a full time Beachbody Coach, she was asked to tell her story in Scottsdale Arizona at our Leadership Conference and she was on the Super Saturday Video for Team Beachbody in January 2015. She is currently in remission from cancer and she has been nominated for the Woman of the Year in Pittsburgh to raise funds for the LLS.
Katy is not your average woman! She has taken what seemed like the worst possible life scenario and has turned it into one of the most inspiring and influential, hope giving situations that life could give you! She is humble and most likely would argue with this but she is extremely successful, confident, and she is an awesome leader and friend! Everyday she just wants to help people realize their fullest potential!
So, why am I telling you this story!!!!! Well because like I said, she has been nominated for the Woman of the Year in Pittsburgh. This is a 10 week campaign where each nominee fundraises for 10 weeks to raise money for the LLS. The individual who raises the most money is the winner! I want to help her get there and so does our entire Dream Team! Every dollar raised goes towards families and individuals who are diagnosed with Leukemia or Lymphoma. It helps to pay their medical bills, it funds research to find a cure and better treatments and it truly does help people in need! The LLS has been a great support to Katy and her family and she is doing everything she can to return the favor!
So what are we doing as a team! For the entire month of March our theme is EVERY SWEAT MATTERS. I am asking YOU to think of Katy Ursta everytime you workout and use the hashtag #everysweatmatters We are selling Team Beachbody T-shirts and tanks with the hashtag #everysweatmatters on them. If you would like to get a T-shirt and support the cause you can order yours here! Wear it and tag me on social media.
If you are attending a Super Saturday in April please wear your shirt to raise awareness for this cause.
Also, as a team we are fundraising across the United States and Canada. Coaches are hosting spaghetti dinners, are doing fit clubs in honor of Katy, are donating proceeds of their commissions to the campaign, and hosting events! Push ups for LLS, dedicating workouts, corporate sponsors and more! As a team our goal is to raise $10,000 for this cause and we could totally use your help!
2. You can join my challenge group in March and $2 for every purchase will be donated to the campaign.
3. You can donate to the campaign and Matt and I will do push ups for every dollar raised! Just make sure to write in the notes section how many push ups you are wanting Matt or I to do.
4. You can host your own event, you can attend our Super Saturday in April and the proceeds of the event will go to the LLS.
Facts about Blood Cancer:
Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children and young adults under the age of 20.
An estimated 1,129,813 Americans are currently living with blood cancers.
Every four minutes someone is diagnosed - more than 149,900 new cases are expected this year.
Every 10 minutes, someone dies from blood cancers - an estimated 54,630 deaths are expected this year.
Leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma are cancers that originate in the bone marrow or lymphatic tissue as the result of an acquired genetic injury to the DNA of a single cell, which becomes malignant and multiplies continuously. This abnormal accumulation interferes with the production of healthy blood cells.
Facts about Leukemia and Lymphoma:
In the United States 310,046 people are living with or in remission from leukemia.
The five-year relative survival rate for a child under the age of 15 with ALL has improved from 3% in 1964 to 92% today.(lymphoma)
There are 731,277 people today living with lymphoma: 172,937 have or are in remission from Hodgkin lymphoma; 558,340 have or are in remission from nonHodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the seventh most common cancer in the United States, and its age-adjusted incidence rose 89-percent from 1975 to 2010.
The five-year relative survival rate for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma rose from 74-percent in 1975 to 88-percent in 2009.
Many LLS supported therapies not only help blood cancer patients, but are also now used to treat patients with rare forms of stomach and skin cancers and are in clinical trials for patients with lung, brain, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers. And LLS funded drugs like targeted therapies and immunotherapies are now saving thousands of lives every day.
You can reach out to myself and Katy Ursta and we will plug you in!
This month is not just about a challenge pack sale or a success club point. This month is about truly sweating for something bigger. Every day when you pull on those shoes and workout clothes its not just about you! Every workout selfie you take, post and share is out there inspiring someone to sweat for something bigger! Your SWEAT matters to that person who feels lost and hopeless. Your sweat matters to the person struggling with a personal issue! Your sweat inspires people to get up and get going! So don't let it stop here! I challenge you to take action and SWEAT FOR SOMETHING BIGGER! Your SWEAT does count!
Want to know more about Katy Ursta and her story----- then head over to her blog! One Fit Fighter
So are you in! Will you help us raise awareness for the LLS and will you participate in our campaign!!! Each week I will update you on the money raised and how close we are to our goal! Lets make it count!!!!
To make a tax deductible donation to the Woman of the Year Campaign click here!