Doylestown, PA 18902
Growing up in Hawai’i I was always involved in some kind of water sports. I learned to swim at the age of 5 and started swimming competitively at 8 years old. I learned to surf at Waikiki Beach, swam in the first Rough Water Swim, raced ocean kayaks, outrigger canoes and sailed around the islands. I began dancing at the age of 10, first starting with the Hula until I found Jazz. I trained in Jazz dance and performed in a local production of “A Chorus Line”. In 1996 I came to Utah to visit a friend, and never left. Being landlocked, swimming was out of the question and since I couldn’t find any adult dance classes, I turned to Pilates. I dove right in and purchased a STOTT Pilates reformer. Immediately I realized the benefits of Pilates and I was able to maintain my swimmer/dancers body. In 2008 I was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer, how does that song go?….“ I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean, Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens, Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…I hope you dance.” I was dancing as fast as I could to fight this disease. I underwent a bilateral mastectomy on May 8th, the first year I was unable to participate in the Race for the Cure, you see I lost my mother to breast cancer in May of 1998, and I ran for her every year. I spent the next six months going through chemotherapy, radiation and numerous reconstruction surgeries. Throughout my treatment I was still staying as active as I could. I walked every morning and soon my walks turned into runs. I created a program of stretches that included Pilates, that I did everyday and also rode my road bike on an indoor trainer. True to Murphy’s Law, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Due to complications from the radiation my incisions would not heal and was advised by my plastic surgeon that I would need to have Latissimus Dorsi Flap surgery. He proceeded to tell me that it might be difficult to ride a bike uphill, swim the crawl and cross country ski, activities that require that muscle to pull. Six weeks after surgery I was back on my bike and rode in the Salt Lake City Bike Tour. Needless to say, I was still concerned about the swimming. I had the surgery in December and was not allowed in the pool until March. The first day in the pool I swam 2000 meters and did not swim like Nemo. In July I competed and finished the Tin Man Triathlon in Hawai’i. Staying physically active and maintaing my Pilates gave me back my mobility, flexibility, strength, balance, self-confidence and most importantly my life.