Goofy and Inspiring: AICR Cancer Fighters of the Month

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Gordon, Sarah (TeamAICR Coordinator) and Sam after the marathon

We’ve had many dynamic and inspirational runners on TeamAICR over the years, but we’ve never had a pair quite like the Big Sur International Marathon duo of cancer survivor Gordon McGill and his trainer, Sam Ditzell.  Their enthusiasm, candor, commitment, sense of humor, and above all, their deep friendship, are truly inspiring. They are also May’s Cancer Fighters of the Month.

Sam and Gordon met in 2008 when Sam helped Gordon and his wife train for the New York City Marathon.  After completing the marathon, Gordon continued working with Sam in the hopes of training for another race.

However, in 2009 Gordon was diagnosed with bladder cancer and endured multiple rounds of surgery and chemotherapy. Throughout his treatment he continued to train with Sam. “Some days Gordon couldn’t even get out of bed during the chemo, but he still only missed a couple of workouts,”  Sam remembers. “More than physical determination, Gordon managed to maintain such a positive, goofy, almost child-like attitude throughout his treatment.” Read more… “Goofy and Inspiring: AICR Cancer Fighters of the Month”

Q&A with our Cancer Fighter of the Month. How does she do it?

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Carla is April’s “AICR Cancer Fighter of the Month”. A mother of two, Carla’s using her personal fitness goals to raise funds for cancer research and build awareness for health, fitness and cancer prevention. We asked Carla about her active lifestyle and what motivated her to start her journey to health.

Here are photos of Carla before and after.

Q:  You’re competing in a figure competition next month. Why did you decide to compete and fund-raise for AICR? 

A:  With my 40th birthday approaching in November 2011, I started to contemplate doing a figure or bodybuilding competition to commemorate this milestone. I had recently gotten back into shape after having my daughters and was really passionate about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I was still somewhat on the fence about the decision when something happened that created a “tipping point” for me. My dear friend Sue lost her battle with ovarian cancer. I became determined to find a way to pursue my goal while also raising funds for cancer research. I’m just so grateful AICR was there to support me in doing so.  Read more… “Q&A with our Cancer Fighter of the Month. How does she do it?”

Ate an Apple? HealthyBrag About It

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We all have them, the friends and family who are always sharing tidbits about their healthy lifestyles. “Ran 2 miles today.” or “Cooked a healthy meal for my family last night!” Everyday they are leading healthier lives while we sit at our computer and listen to them do it. Well, now it’s your turn to start leading a healthier lifestyle and gain some bragging rights by joining AICR’s new #healthybrag campaign on Facebook.

An AICR #healthybrag is a way to share your healthiest choices. It might be taking a short walk in the morning or going for the beans instead of the burger. Posting your accomplishments will help you gain support and may even inspire someone else to make a change.

AICR has tons of online resources to help you begin your healthy bragging. Check out our Health-e-Recipes for meal ideas and alternatives to comfort foods. Also, head over to our Reduce your Risk page to find out how diet, physical activity, and weight management can help reduce your risk of cancer.

Look for our healthy bragging posts and share one of your own every Monday, starting today, on AICR’s Facebook. Whoever’s #healthybrag gets the most Likes by Tuesday morning will win a small prize from AICR.

And if you want to share your healthybrag here, please do!