RENO, Nev.--(KOLO) For a handful of local survivors, they've taken control of their lives by joining the Breast Cancer to Bikini Program.
“They don't even know what their bodies can do, they're afraid to do a push up, they're afraid...I don't know if I should pick up those three pound weights and to watch them slowly progress from one push up to five push-ups to ten push-ups,” Mena Spodobalski explains.
This is the 4th year for Breast Cancer to Bikini. It was developed by the local nonprofit, Each One Tell One. Evoke Fitness off Longley Lane in Reno is the hub. Spodobalski is the owner and trains these tough cookies.
The survivors have or are battling Breast Cancer. They work out, weigh in and take photos of their progress for 6 months.
“I don't want to be that Grandma that can't get on the floor and play with my kids and it’s good to know that at any age...there are ladies in this that are 60," mother of 3 Traci Allen tells us. She was diagnosed at age 45 through her mammogram in November 2017, as she details, “You think oh no that's not me... I don’t' have it in my family. There’s no history in my family and when they came back and did the ultrasound my radiologist said he was 99 percent sure it was going to be cancer.”
That diagnosis was a few years after losing the love of her life. Allen adds, “I'm proud of myself and I know my husband is proud of me too... he always cheered me on through anything I wanted to do.”
We’re told the 16 participants have lost a combined total of more than 300 pounds. All the hard work leads to the women being highlighted and honored at the National Physique Committee's Body-building event on October 5th.
They're not competing but for a portion of the show…the stage is theirs. “Don’t fall into that trap you know that this is it, my life is over or I had this done, I had that done, I can't. I can't do push-ups, because you can. it’s just when you're ready and how bad you want it, Allen states.
Every survivor has a story, but these ladies say…that gut wrenching diagnosis doesn't have to be the end.
To learn more about Breast Cancer to Bikini click here
For more information about the survivors big moment on stage, use this link
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