Dana-Farber patient uses fitness to conquer cancer

Dana-Farmer patient, Erin, and her children.
Dana-Farber patient Erin (center) with her children.

Erin always lived an active lifestyle. She biked to work between her home in Arlington and her office in Boston and enjoyed taking Bikram yoga classes. In the summer of 2015, Erin began to experience a series of stomach issues that would cause her active lifestyle to come to a screeching halt.

After a doctor’s visit, a CT scan revealed a mass blocking her colon requiring emergency surgery. She was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma cancer, a form of cancer that can occur in various places throughout the body. Her doctor recommended that she visit Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for a second opinion.

When she walked in the door of Dana-Farber’s Yawkey Center for Cancer she immediately knew she was in the right place.

“Consider yourself lucky if you never have a reason to visit Dana-Farber,” says Erin. “If you ever do have a reason to visit [Dana-Farber], know that you won’t want to be anywhere else.”

Following her initial visit, Erin spent the next several months undergoing a series of surgeries and intense chemotherapy treatments. As with most patients, one of the hardest parts of her journey was losing her routine and having to adjust to a “new normal.”

Although she continued to walk as much as possible during her treatment, and even practiced a modified yoga routine, Erin was hesitant to try too much for fear of injuring herself. That is, until she came across a new Jimmy Fund event on Facebook—the Jimmy Fund Fit Fest presented by Reebok.

Erin, pictured here at her first chemotherapy treatment, is scheduled to finish cancer treatment in April.

The Jimmy Fund Fit Fest is an outdoor fitness festival featuring 6 workout classes from the city’s best trainers. Wanting to support the place that has made her feel at home throughout her treatment, Erin can’t think of a more motivating factor to get her back on track than participating in the event.

With her last radiation treatment scheduled in April, Erin is hopeful this event can be the kick-off to celebrating a successful end to her treatment. As a Jimmy Fund Fit Fest participant, she has committed to a fundraising goal of $1,800 to represent $100 for each of the 18 courses of chemotherapy and radiation she will have received.

Join Erin and others in support of cancer research at The DCR Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade in Boston on May 14, 2016 for the Jimmy Fund Fit Fest. Work out with the city’s best trainers to support Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund.

Kristen Hannifan
Account Manager/Writer, Development Communications