A Cause Close to Home: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society & Physique 57

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In support of National Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September, Physique 57 has teamed up with LLS for a charity class on September 19th.  This is a cause close to our heart as NY Instructor and Director of Training, Antonietta Vicario, has fought her courageous battle against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

A note from Antonietta:

I am so excited that Physique will be hosting another charity class with the proceeds going to LLS, an organization very dear to my heart. Most of you know my journey with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that started in July of 2015 when I was first diagnosed. A little more than 2 years later and after 24 rounds of chemotherapy, a month long radiation regimen and a stem cell transplant this April, I can finally say I am cancer-free! But this statement doesn’t come without scars both mental and physical. My body feels like it’s almost back to its physical condition prior to July 2015 but there are literal scars to mark each biopsy and access line for infusions. More than the physical scars, it is my mind that will always be transformed as a cancer survivor. There is the anxiety that one day this diagnosis will change and I will be right back in battling mode but there is also an intense joy in getting to experience my life once again fully without this cross to bear.

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While the last 2 years have tested my strength in unimaginable ways, the community around me has inspired me to persevere through every hardship. My family, friends and Physique community have shown up for me with such intense loyalty and love at every turn, and there have been many turns. It was tough for me to accept that I was compromised being someone who has always prided myself on being able take whatever life throws my way and make lemonade out of lemons. This stubborn, can-do attitude served me well as I fought with unbreakable determination that my diagnosis would not hold me down for long and that I would be restored to full health. But I did have to go through a journey that knocked me down to build me back up, my light at the end of the tunnel being my little boy Oliver who I was fighting for most. A mother needs to see her baby boy grow into a wonderful man through her and her husbands influence and visualizing my angel’s face when I thought I didn’t have any more strength left got my through the most despairing of moments.

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There were also many frustrating moments along the way. When I read about miracle anti-inflammatory diets that shame me into thinking momentarily that I somehow created this environment internally, I want to scream. You see, I do think there is an industry preying on people’s fear of the C word by promising that by eating a certain way, taking a certain supplement, praying hard enough, that you could somehow be untouched by cancer. And I know from my own personal experience that living an ultra healthy lifestyle didn’t leave me untouched. Which is why supporting organizations like LLS that are on the forefront of helping fund groundbreaking and lifesaving immunotherapies is so important! There is no doubt that I am still around because of the pioneering developments being made daily to treat and cure cancers and that it is organizations like LLS that have served me and so many others. So come pulse and squeeze with me (and Courtney) for this incredible cause and help be a part of creating progress toward a cancer-free world!

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